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Brooks E. Kleber 


Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 66-6000] 

First Printed 1966-CMH Pub 10-3 

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office 
Washington. DC 20402 

Stetson Conn, General Editor 

James A. Field, Jr. 
Swarthmore College 

Ernest R. May 
Harvard University 

Earl Pomeroy 
University of Oregon 

Charles P. Roland 
Tulane University 

Advisory Committee 

(As fl*M»rd.I9*5> 

jjL Gen. August Sehomburg 
Industrial College of the Armed Fore* 

' Maj. Gen. David W. Gray 
U.S, Continental Army Command 

Brig. Gen. Ward S. Ryan 

Brig. Gen. Elias C Townsend 
U,S. Army Command and 
General Staff College 

Lt. Col. Thomas E, Griess 

Theodore Ropp 
Duke University 

the Chief of Military History 

Military History 

Chief Historian Stetson Conn 

Chief, Histories Division Col. Albert W. Jones 

Chief, Editorial and Graphics Division Col. Joseph S. Coulter 

Editor in Chief Joseph R. Friedman 


to Those Who Served 


This is the third and final volume of the Chemical Warfare Service 
subseries of The Technical Services in the series UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II. Concluding the chemical warfare story 
that was begun in Organizing for War and was continued in From 
Laboratory to Field, Chemicals in Combat records in meaningful de- 
tail the ultimate and most rigorous test of all things military: perform- 
ance in battle. 

Entry of the United States into World War II found the nation's 
Armed Forces, like those of its principal allies and enemies, mindful 
of the possibility of gas warfare. The gas attacks of World War I 
did not recur, but the Chemical Warfare Service was in the position of 
being ready for a type of war that did not happen. Thus the CWS, the 
only technical service having combat troops armed with weapons it 
had specifically provided for itself, was forced to show its flexibility. 
The Service sought to fulfill its supporting role with smoke, flame, and 
incendiaries; with 4.2-inch mortars and flame throwers; and, having no 
gas to contend with, its decontamination companies provided front-line 
troops with the means for simple physical cleanliness. Chemicals in 
Combat recounts the administrative, logistical, and tactical problems 
arising from the Service's dual responsibility, and highlights the flexi- 
bility and ingenuity demanded of chemical troops in World War II. 
These are, of course, qualities that military men have and will always 
find essential. 

Washington, D.C HAL C. PATTISON 

15 March 1965 Brigadier General, USA 

Chief of Military History 


The Authors 

Dr. Brooks E. Kleber received a Ph.B. degree from Dickinson College 
and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from the University of Penn- 
sylvania. From 1950 to 1963 he served as historian with the U.S. Army 
Chemical Corps Historical Office. In January 1963 Dr. Kleber was 
appointed Chief Historian, United States Continental Army Command. 

Dr. Dale Birdsell holds an A.B. degree from Reed College, an M.A. 
from Brown University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsyl- 
vania. He served as historian with the U.S. Army Chemical Corps 
Historical Office from 1952 to 1963 and is now Chief, Historical 
Division, U.S. Army Munitions Command. 



Chemicals in Combat is the last of three volumes concerned with the 
activities of the Chemical Warfare Service in World War II. It is de- 
voted to the overseas story — administration, logistics, and combat. In 
World War II the CWS faced a unique situation, in that it found itself 
in the unenviable position of preparing for an unconventional kind of 
warfare that never came to pass. Yet, even as it served as insurance in 
the event of the introduction of gas by the enemy (United States policy 
permitted the use of gas only in retaliation) , it also had to be useful in a 
gasless war. 

The CWS was useful in World War II. Its contributions included the 
missions of smoke, flame, and incendiary weapons, which, less heralded 
at first, eventually eclipsed the gas mission. How the CWS carried out 
these various missions in the theaters of operation is the main theme of 
this volume. 

"Chemical Warfare" is a term meant to include the employment of 
artificial smoke, flame, and incendiary munitions as well as gas offensive 
and defensive munitions. While the practice at the time of this writing 
is to refer to the "employment of chemical weapons" rather than to 
"chemical warfare," the latter term is appropriate to a World War II 
setting, and the term "chemicals" retains its inclusive World War II 

In planning a volume devoted to the overseas activities of the CWS, 
the authors found the logic of either of two alternative organizational 
methods was appealing: (1 ) trace each CWS activity, such as prepared- 
ness, administration, and logistics, and each of the combat functions, 
from war area to war area in a unified account by subject; or (2) treat 
all CWS activities for each overseas area in a unified account under an 
area heading. The first alternative tended to obscure the administrative 
and logistic individuality of the CWS overseas branches. It also tended 
to minimize the impact of area physical characteristics, of area organi- 
zational policy, and of area tactics. Even two theaters so intimately con- 


nected and in many ways so parallel as the European and North African 
were decidedly different entities from the CWS point of view. The 
theater chief chemical officers operated from different echelons of com- 
mand, and these individuals did not hold the same conception of 
operating control. The possibility of gas warfare was great in Europe 
but usually remote in North Africa. The CWS supply system was 
highly centralized in Europe; it was in part decentralized in the Medi- 
terranean area. But neither did the second alternative solve all the 
problems. The development of mortar and smoke tactics and tech- 
niques in the Mediterranean area was much more closely related to the 
employment of those tactics and techniques in the European theater 
situation than it was to the evolution of the Mediterranean theater 
supply systems. Further, in the Pacific the development of flame 
weapons and tactics would not observe area boundaries, and Pacific 
incendiary bomb experience was only a grand enlargement of European 

The authors fully realize that the war was carried on in more than 
the four major areas usually considered herein. They have no desire to 
detract from the considerable contributions of the CWS branches in the 
other major areas and in those outposts which could not be designated 
major. But the authors believe that most CWS problems can be illus- 
trated from activities in the European and North African/Mediterran- 
ean theaters and the Southwest and Central Pacific Areas with some 
reference to the South Pacific Area. The China, Burma-India, North 
Pacific, and Middle East areas are thus excluded. 

The CWS in the United States is treated in two complementary 
volumes which have preceded the publication of Chemicals in Combat. 
The first of these, Organizing for War, traces matters of organization, 
administration, and training from World War I CWS origins through 
the end of World War II. The second, From Laboratory to Field, deals 
with CWS research, development, and supply. 

The present volume was begun by and under the direction of the 
late Dr. Paul W. Pritchard, then Chief, U.S. Army Chemical Corps 
Historical Office. While Dr. Pritchard's work appears only in portions 
of the chapters on smoke, the authors greatly benefited from his guid- 
ance and advice and from his unflagging interest in overseas military 
operations. He was one of those historians who could become personally 
involved in and enthusiastic about his subject without impairment of 
objectivity. Dr. Pritchard's successor, Dr. Leo P. Brophy, continued to 


provide valuable guidance and advice. Dr. Brooks E. Kleber wrote 
Chapters VIII through XVII. Dr. Dale Birdsell wrote Chapters II 
through VI. These authors collaborated on Chapters I and XVIII. 
Mr. Sherman L. Davis wrote Chapter VII. Dr. Kleber co-ordinated 
the work on the volume. 

The authors are greatly indebted to Dr. Stetson Conn, Chief His- 
torian, and to Dr. John Miller, jr., Deputy Chief Historian, Office, 
Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, for guidance and 
suggestions. Many members and former members of the staff of the 
U.S. Army Chemical Corps Historical Office also contributed knowl- 
edge, preliminary research, or early drafts of portions of this volume. 
Individuals who were especially helpful and their areas of interest are: 
Mr. H. Gilman Wing, flame throwers and administration; Lt. Col. 
Leonard J. McKinney, flame throwers; Dr. Ben R. Baldwin, mortars 
and readiness; Dr. Alfred J. Bingham, mortars, readiness, administra- 
tion; and Mr. Innis Brown, chemical troop units. The following U.S. 
Army Chemical Corps Historical Office enlisted research assistants were 
especially helpful: Thomas J. Morgan, Nelson Ledsky, Richard Breault, 
William Piez, Harvey Fergusson, John J. Keeley, Victor H. Walton, 
and Arthur Macqueen. Mrs. Alice E. Moss supervised the preparation 
of the manuscript, did yeoman service in checking source locations, and 
diligently performed preliminary editorial tasks. Mrs. Doris M. Jacob- 
son displayed extraordinary skill in preparing the final typescripts. 

Research for this volume was greatly facilitated by personnel of the 
World War II Records Division, National Archives, especially Mrs. 
Lois Aldridge, Mrs. Hazel Ward, and Mrs. Caroline Moore. Mr. 
Howard Baute, Mrs. Mary K, Stuart, and Mrs. M. Virginia Nester of 
the Federal Records Center in Alexandria were most helpful in locating 
CWS records, and personnel of the Federal Records Center, Kansas 
City, the Archives Division, The Air University, and the Marine Corps 
Archives provided many collections of overseas records. Mr. Israel Wice 
and Miss Hannah Zeidlik of the Office, Chief of Military History, 
steered the authors to many records sources they might otherwise have 
overlooked. Miss Ethel M. Owens, Office of the Chief Chemical Officer, 
provided valuable information on the careers of CWS officers. 

The veterans of the Chemical Warfare Service have been remarkably 
frank in supplying materials which do not appear in the official rec- 
ords, and many have given unstintingly of their time. The authors are 
grateful to all these officers whose interviews or comments have been 
cited as well as to others who provided more general background in- 


formation. They are especially grateful to Maj. Gen. Alden H. Waitt, 
Brig. Gen. Hugh W. Rowan, and Col. Maurice H. Barker, all of whom 
followed the project throughout the entire span and contributed much 
to the authors' understanding of the World War II experience of the 
CWS. The following officers were always ready with good counsel: 
Cols. William A. Copthorne, Alexander Batlin, Frank M. Arthur, and 
Nelson McKaig, Jr., Lt. Col. Levin B, Cottingham, Maj. Gen. William 
N. Porter, Cols. Siegfried P. Coblentz, James H. Batte, and Robert W. 
Breaks, Brig. Gen. Charles S. Shadle, Cols. Alfred J. P. Wilson, Alex- 
ander Leggin, John C. MacArthur, Thomas H. Magness, Jr., Claude J. 
Merrill, Carl V. Burke, Irving R. Mollen, John C. Morgan, Harold 
Riegelman, and Patrick F. Powers. 

Thanks are also due to several other members of the Office of the 
Chief of Military History: Mr. David Jaffe, editor, Mrs. Marion P. 
Grimes, assistant editor; Miss Ruth A. Phillips, who selected the 
photographs; and Mr. Elliot Dunay, who prepared the maps. 

For errors in the facts presented and in the conclusions drawn, the 
authors assume sole responsibility, 

Washington, D,C. BROOKS E. KLEBER 

15 March 1965 DALE BIRDSELL 



Chapter P*& 


World War I 5 

The CWS Between the Wars 24 


Planning and Organization: 1940-43 36 

Planning and Organization: 1944-45 61 

Summary 84 


Chemical Supply — The Beachhead Phase 94 

Chemical Supply — Theater Organization Phase 99 

Theater Chemical Supply Problems 125 


Evolving the Theater CWS Supply System 136 

Air Chemical Supply 149 

Ground Chemical Supply 163 

On the Continent 173 


The CWS in the West and Southwest Pacific, 1941-42 .... 187 

The Principal Mission— 1943 200 

CWS, Southwest Pacific Area, 1944-45 208 

Organizing the CWS, Hawaiian Department 219 

The Offensive Period in the Central Pacific 225 


Foundation of Chemical Supply in Australia 236 

The Tyranny of Climate and Distance 246 

Chemical Warfare Tactical Supply, Southwest Pacific Area ... 254 

The Theater Supply System, Central Pacific 266 

Chemical Warfare Tactical Supply, Central Pacific 270 


The Chemical Laboratory Company 280 



The Chemical Maintenance Company 288 

The Chemical Depot Company 295 

The Chemical Decontamination Company 300 

The Chemical Processing Company 304 

The Chemical Service Company 308 

Chemical Air Service Companies 317 


Background of Large Area Screening 321 

Initial Operations: The Northwest African Ports 326 

Perfecting the Technique: The Italian Ports 329 

The Changing Mission: Smoke in Amphibious and Beachhead 

Operations 334 

Smoke in Normal Forward Area Operations 345 


The Invasion of Normandy 354 

The Generators, Units, and Missions 359 

The Use of Smoke at River Crossings 361 

Summary 392 


Early Attempts To Introduce Area Screening in SWPA .... 394 

A Question of Mission 397 

Renewed Interest in Smoke 399 

The Navy's Use of Smoke 404 

Screens for Airborne Operations 411 


The Authorization of the High Explosive Mission 419 

Activation of Chemical Mortar Units 421 

Sicily 424 

The Salerno Landings 432 

From the Volturno to the Winter Line 435 

The Gustav Line 442 

The Anzio Beachhead 445 

Cassino 448 

The Drive on Rome 450 

The Invasion of Southern France 453 

The Fighting Ends in Italy 455 


Preparations for OVERLORD 461 

The Normandy Campaign 462 


Chapter P*& 

Operational Problems 468 

The Drive Toward Germany 471 

Mortar Parts and Their Maintenance 477 

The German Winter Offensive 480 

Mortar Shell Malfunctions 482 

The Final Drive 484 


South Pacific Area 492 

Southwest Pacific Area 497 

Central Pacific Area 516 

Amphibious Employment of the 42-lnch Chemical Mortar . . . 520 



The Portable Flame Thrower in the South Pacific : 536 

The Southwest Pacific: The First Years 543 

Introduction of the Portable Flame Thrower in the Central 

Pacific Area 553 



The Need for a Mechanized Flame Thrower 558 

The Marianas 559 

Peleliu 564 

The Philippines 568 

I wo Jima 578 

Okinawa 584 

Preparations for the Invasion of Japan 589 


The Portable Flame Thrower in the MTO 592 

The Portable Flame Thrower in the ETO 596 

The Mechanized Flame Thrower 604 


The Incendiary Bomb: The Strategic Weapon 614 

The Fire Bomb: The Tactical Weapon 630 


Administration and Manpower 637 

Logistics 640 

The Weapons 644 

Readiness for Gas Warfare 648 

Why Gas Was Not Used 652 




1. Organization of Chemical Warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces, 

13 July 1918 20 

2. Suggested Organization of Offices of Chemical Officers, Theater of 

Operations 29 

3. Planned Distribution of Staff and Service Agencies, Chemical Warfare 

Service, Theater of Operations 39 

4. Organization of Chemical Warfare Service Section, Headquarters, European 

Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, January 1944 63 

5. Actual Distribution of Service Agencies and Combat Units, Chemical 

Warfare Service, European Theater of Operations, 1944-1945 ... 66 

6. Organization of Chemical Warfare Section, Allied Force Headquarters, and 

Headquarters, North African Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, 
November 1943 117 

7. Organization of Chemical Section, Headquarters, United States Army 

Services of Supply, Southwest Pacific Area, 1 June 1944 209 

8. Organization of Chemical Office, Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces, Pacific 

Ocean Areas, 1 April 1945 226 




INDEX 675 



1. Theaters of Operations, 1943 31 

2. Pacific Ocean Areas, 1 August 1942 192 

3. Smoke at Naples, December 1943 3 30 

4. Smoke at Anzio, 18 March 1944 33 8 

5. Smoke Along the Garigliano, April 1944 349 

6. Smoke Generator Operations, 10-15 September 1944 364 

7. Nadzab Smoke Curtains, 5 September 1943 413 


Maj. Gen. William N. Porter 27 

General Porter and Top-Ranking Officers in London, 1943 49 

Col. Maurice E. Barker 91 



Col Charles S. Shadle and Staff in Algiers, 1943 120 

Decontamination Unit Functioning as a Shower 1^1 

Chemical Warfare Depot, Loton Deer Park, England 148 

Conferring Somewhere in England Before D-day . . . . " 170 

"I see Comp'ny E got th* new style gas masks, Joe" 176 

Annex Building, Chemical Warfare School, Brisbane 195 

Col. Harold Riegelman 197 

Col. Carl L. Marriott Examining Japanese Gas Mask 203 

Col. William A. Copthorne and Brig. Gen. Alden H. Waitt 216 

Chemical Warfare Officers at Oro Bay, 1944 217 

Col. George F. Unmacht 223 

Repairing Gas Masks for Civilian Use 233 

Capua Arsenal, as the Germans Left It 291 

Plant of 105th Chemical Processing Company, Brisbane 306 

Testing Flame Thrower Fuels, New Guinea 310 

A Chemical Service Company Laboratory, New Guinea 312 

Loading Liquid Smoke Into an M10 Smoke Tank 318 

Smoke Screen Shields Unloading Operations, Salerno 333 

"My God! There we wuz an* here they wuz" 341 

Effect of Smoke Curtain, Italy 347 

Carrying Smoke Pots Into Position, Rapido River 348 

Smoke Screen Conceals Movements Along Highway 352 

M2 Smoke Generator 358 

Smoke Screen Begins To Form on the Moselle River 365 

Smoke Generator in a Dukw, Milne Bay 396 

Smoke Shields a Paratroop Drop, New Guinea 415 

4.2-Inch Mortar Crew, Italy 42 3 

Pulling a 4.2 -Inch Mortar Cart Over Rugged Terrain 427 

Smoke Screen, Omaha Beach 463 

Chemical Mortars, Utah Beach 464 

Preparing a 4.2-Inch Mortar Shell for Firing 480 

Roer River Bridge Behind a Smoke Screen 488 

Artificial Haze on Rhine River 490 

4.2-Inch Chemical Mortars on LST 522 

Marines Using CWS Flame Thrower, Tarawa 554 

Flame Thrower on an Amphibious Tractor 565 

Neutralizing a Cave, Iwo Jima 580 

Flame-Throwing Tank, Okinawa 585 

Men Training With Flame Thrower 600 

British Crocodile With Fuel Trailer 607 

Loading Magnesium Bombs Into a B-24 623 

Tokyo, After Incendiary Bombing 629 

Attaching Fire Bomb Tank to a P-47 631 

All illustrations are from the files of the Department of Defense except for the car- 
toons by Bill Mauldin on page 176 and page 341 and the photograph supplied by Col. 
Thomas H. Magness, Jr., on page 607. 




Origins of the Chemical 
Warfare Service 

The great paradox of America's wartime gas experience is that in 
World War I, when the nation was unprepared for it, gas was used, and 
in World War II, when the nation was prepared, gas was not used. The 
gas warfare experience of World War I is important not only as the 
sole example of large-scale use of toxic chemicals in battle, but also 
because this experience in large measure dictated the chemical mission, 
organization, weapons, tactics, and techniques with which the belliger- 
ents entered World War II. The Allies and the Central Powers used no 
fewer than twenty-eight gases and sixteen mixtures of gases during 
World War I. Although the United States retained or developed nearly 
a dozen gases, only four, mustard, phosgene, lewisite, and chloraceto- 
phenone, in order of importance, were considered as basic at the 
beginning of World War II. The first two were accorded this priority 
as the result of actual World War I combat experience; lewisite 
owed its prominence to its likeness to mustard, while chloracetophenone 
was similar to, although less expensive and less corrosive than, the 
World War I tear gases. 1 The ground weapons available for gas at the 
beginning of World War II had for the most part likewise been devel- 
oped and battle-tested in World War I. These included artillery with 
toxic shell, the Livens projector, chemical cylinders, and toxic candles* 
The Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) in the United States had modi- 

5 (i) Brig. Gen. Amos A. Fries and Maj, Clarence J. West, Chemical Warfare (New York: McGraw- 
Hill, 1921), pp. 24-17. (2) WD TM j-2 1 5, 1 Oct 40. (3) Leo P. Brophy, Wyndham D. Miles, and 
Rexmond C. Cochrane, The Chemical Warfare Service: From Laboratory to Field, UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, iffS5>), |pp. 49~74- | 



fied the 4-inch Stokes mortar into the longer range, more accurate 
4. 2 -inch chemical mortar, again on the basis of World War I experi- 
ence, 2 The aerial chemical bomb was a development of the period be- 
tween the wars, but even this new weapon did not significantly alter 
gas warfare tactics. The concept of the massive gas attack adopted by 
most of the major World War I combatants dominated tactical doc- 
trine in the period following the war. Retained too was the practice of 
using mustard in defensive operations. In offensive chemical operations 
nonpersistent agents were to be used in terrain over which friendly 
troops would advance, whereas the persistent mustard would be placed 
on areas to be neutralized and bypassed. 3 In general, the troops who 
successfully stood up in the face of such gas attacks were those who had 
training and gas mask discipline. 

Two comments about the American use of gas in World War I are 
in order. First, troops in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) 
used a disproportionately large amount of Allied materiel. In time, the 
United States did send bulk toxics to Europe where they were poured 
into British and French shells. And although four million American- 
made masks were eventually shipped to Europe, soldiers of the AEF 
initially used almost a million British and French masks. The second 
point concerns the place of gas warfare in the thinking of American 
battle leaders. These officers had to be won over to the usefulness of gas 
warfare and this task was not always easy. Brig. Gen. Amos A. Fries tells 
of the case of the operations officer of an American corps demanding 
written assurance that gas used in support of an attack in the Argonne 
would not cause a single friendly casualty. Fries also brings out another 
point, supported by contemporary documents, which involves the re- 
luctance of American commanders to use gas because of the possibility 
of retaliatory fire. They held this attitude despite the fact that the 
Germans had made good use of the chemical weapon regardless of 
enemy reaction. 4 

3 (1) Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane; From Laboratory to Yields pp. 123-38. (2) The gas cylinder and 
the Livens projector were dropped early in World War II because the range of both and the accuracy of 
the Livens projector suited them only to trench warfare conditions. 

a (1) Maj. Gen. C. H. Foulkes, "Gas!" The Story of the Special Brigade (Edinburgh and London: W> 
Blackwood & Sons, 1934) (hereafter cited as Foulkes, Gas!) p. 267. (2) Brig. Gen. Alden H. Waitt, 
Gas Warfare (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1942), pp. 137-54- 

* Amos A. Fries, MS, History of Chemical Warfare in France, 19 19, pp. J2-53. 



World War 1 

The First Gas Attack 

Late in the afternoon of 22 April 1915 three flares glowed from a 
German balloon hoisted in the salient near Ypres, Belgium. At this 
signal plumes of greenish-gray smoke began to pour from the earth in 
front of the German trenches. The plumes suffused into a yellowish 
cloud rolling downwind toward the Allied trenches at the juncture of 
the French and British lines. The first notable gas attack in military 
history was in progress, The chlorine gas cloud enveloped a French 
colonial regiment. Some soldiers emerged from the cloud blinded, 
choking, and coughing, but other soldiers, incapacitated, dying, or 
dead from the effects of the gas were left in the trenches. German gas 
breached the Allied lines for four miles, and German soldiers captured 
fifty French guns. 5 

The French did not announce their casualties from this first attack, 
but the Germans estimated them at 1 j,ooo, including 5,000 deaths in 
the attack of 22 April and in that of 24 April in the same sector. 6 
Although the German estimate may have been high, the casualties were 
nonetheless extensive. These losses, along with the shock and panic re- 
sulting from the surprise introduction of a new weapon, could have 
been a serious blow to the Allies had the Germans followed up their 
initial success. They failed to advance more than a few hundred yards, 
however, and before they could gain ground significantly, the Allies 
had plugged the hole in their line. 7 The failure of the Germans to exploit 
their initial success and Allied lack of preparation for the introduction 
of gas can best be understood in the light of the strategic concepts and 
views of the military art held by the belligerents before World War I. 

8 (i) Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 18-19. (1) tries and West, Chemical Warfare, pp. io-ij (eyewitness ac- 
counts cited). (3) Victor Lefebure, The Kiddle of the Rhine (New York: The Chemical Foundation, 
*9 J 3)> PP. 31-31 (statement of Sir John French, British Commander-in-Chief in the field, cited). (4) 
Waitt, Gas Warfare, pp. 16-19. ($) Capt. Basil H. Liddell Hart, The Real War, 1914-1918 (Boston: 
Little, Brown and Co., 1931), pp. 130, i7j-8i. (6) Rudolph Hanslian et aL, Der Chemische Krieg (3d 
ed., Berlin: Mittler, 1937),!, 16-17. All references to this work are to the third edition unless otherwise 

* (1) Foulkes in Gas!, page 306, cites these figures, which appear in Hanslian et at., Der Chemische 
Krieg (2d ed., 1927). page 12, but believes they are exaggerated. In the 24 April attack 122 soldiers of 
the Canadian forces holding a section of the British line were hospitalized and eleven died. (2) Waitt, 
Gas Warfare, page 18, indicates y,ooo casualties. (3) A French authority, Henri le Wita, Autour de 
la Guerre Chimique (Paris: Tallandier, 1928) page 34, accepts the German estimate without question. 

1 Liddell Hart, The Real War, p. 176. 



Background of Gas Warfare 

While the nineteenth century industrial and technological revolu- 
tions produced a new arsenal of weapons that radically altered the 
character of warfare, the new technology produced no toxic war gases. 
Such were envisaged, however, and several suggestions for the use of 
toxic chemicals in war had been made. 8 The prospect of the union of 
the science of chemistry with the art of war was sufficiently real by the 
end of the nineteenth century to cause the nations deliberating at The 
Hague during the International Peace Conference to attempt to ban 
the use of "projectiles, the sole object of which is the diffusion of 
asphyxiating or deleterious gases." 9 

The attempted ban did not run counter to any area of military opin- 
ion. Military leaders, theorists, and innovators were engrossed, and in 
the early years of the twentieth century became even more engrossed, 
in the concepts of mass armies, grand strategic offensives, and the 
undreamed-of firepower of modern weapons. 10 The nations of Europe 
entered World War I dominated by the grand strategic conception of 
mass offensive through which one set of belligerents or the other would 
claim victory — probably in as short a time as six weeks. 11 No nation 
envisioned the need for large-scale industrial preparation; the initial 
stockpile of weapons and ammunition would serve for the brief dura- 
tion of the war. 12 Since gas was expected only to hamper the progress 
of assaulting forces in mass offensive, each nation reviewed its potential 
for producing toxics in but cursory fashion. 

Only Germany, with the world's largest and most varied chemical 
industry, appeared to have the potential for war gas production. 
Germany set Professor Fritz Haber, director of Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm 
Institute, and a small group of chemists to work on war gases in Haber's 
own institute in the first month of the war. 13 At first there must have 

8 See Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From laboratory to Field, pp. i ~i\ 

9 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Division of International Law, Pamphlet ft, The Hague 
Declaration (IV, 2) of 1899 Concerning Asphyxiating Gases {Washington: The Endowment, 1915). 

10 For pre- Wo rid War I military theory, see ( 1 ) Theodore Ropp, War in the Modern World (Durham, 
N.C.: Duke University Press, 1959}, pp. 143-212; (2) Lynn Montross, War Through The Ages 
(New York: Harper and Brothers, i960), pp. J90-698. 

11 Ropp, War in the Modern World, pp. 177-217. 
"Liddell Hart, The Real War, pp. 44-45, 127-29. 

14 (1) Lefebure, Kiddle of the Rhine, p. 35. (2) Foulkes, Gas!, p. 2$. (3) Hanslian et al, Der 
Chemische Krieg, pages 9-10, denies that the Germans were working on war gases prior to October 19 14 
and he cites Professor Haber to refute Lefebure. It is noteworthy that the quotation from Haber is given 
in the second edition, pages 6~yn„ as: "Wahrend der crstcn drei Monate des Krieges hat in Deutschland 



seemed little likelihood that any product of Haber's laboratory would be 
used. The German strategy of mass offensive was overwhelmingly suc- 
cessful until the Allies decisively halted the German advance in the 
famed September 19 14 battle of the Marne. 14 In October and Novem- 
ber 19 14 the first battle of Ypres taught the Germans that they could 
not resume their offensive in the west, at least for the time being. The 
Germans reacted promptly by digging in. Deadlock, static trench 
warfare, soon characterized the Western Front while the Germans pre- 
pared to press the offensive on the Eastern Front and to undertake 
large-scale, long-term economic and industrial war mobilization within 
the homeland. In these preparations Germany began to look for "keys 
to the deadlock." 15 War gas could be such a key. 

A Period of Improvisation 

German forces experimented with an eye and nose irritant powder 
on the Western Front in October but it was so ineffective that little or 
no notice was taken of it. Gas was then used on the Eastern Front, 
possibly as early as December 19 14, but certainly in January and 
February 1915. 18 British and French disregarded other more definite 
warnings of the impending German employment of gas. In March 
19 1 5 a German officer captured in a raid told a British noncommis- 
sioned officer that gas cylinders were in place, ready to use, on the 
Western Front. On 30 March the French 10th Army bulletin con- 
tained a prisoner of war report that indicated where gas cylinders were 
emplaced, how they were to be used, and what protection German 
troops had against gas. The 10th Army information was confirmed by 
another war prisoner on ij April and again confirmed shortly there- 

niemani an Gas gedacbt. Wir Lasen in der "Pall Mall Gazette" von 17 September 19 14 zum ersfenmal 
von Gasvorbereitungen des Veindes, Erst drei Monate nach Beginn des Kreiges begannen wir mit 
Gasarbeiten." In the third edition, page ion., the quotation is given: "Ve had actually first to read in 
the French, Italian and English Press — as for instance in the Tall Mall Gazette 1 of Sept. 17, 19 14 — of 
the terribly [»r] things that were in preparation for us before we began to make similar preparations in 
view of the commencement of the war of position/* Foulkes, in Gas!, page 24, points out that the Pall 
Mall Gazette reference was not to gas but to a new French explosive, "Turpinite." 
"Hanslian et al. t Der Chemische Krieg, I, 15. 

18 (1) Ropp, War in the Modern World, pp. 222-25. (2) Liddell Hart, The Real War, pp. $7-70, 
80-102, 115-16, 127-35. The phrase quoted above is Liddell Hart's. 

19 (1) Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 30, 31. (2) Hanslian, Der Chemische Krieg, I, 12, iy. Foulkes, page 50, 
cites a report that gas was used on the eastern front in December 19 14 but indicates that the first con- 
firmed attack was in January 191$. Hanslian, volume I, page 15, indicates that a tear gas was employed 
on the Eastern Front in January 191 j. 



after by a captured German document and a Belgian General Staff 
report on German offensive and defensive measures. The Belgians fur- 
ther advised their allies that the Germans were manufacturing gas 
respirators in Ghent. Again, British and Canadian air and ground troops 
actually saw and even counted gas cylinders and shell. And, perhaps 
as a final indication of intent, the Germans were accusing the Allies of 
employing gas. 17 

All warnings went unheeded. The German gas attack on 22 April 
took the Allied forces by complete surprise, and, what is more astonish- 
ing, its success was a surprise to the Germans. The German high com- 
mand initially had looked upon the scheme with tolerant acquiescence^ 
not bothering to provide the reserves to exploit a possible break- 
through. 18 Consequently, instead of achieving a major victory, the 
Germans had to settle for merely straightening their line. But major 
victory or no, after Ypres toxic chemical warfare clearly became a 
force to reckon with. 19 The French, the British, and the Germans all 
began to concentrate on the offensive and defensive aspects of gas 

Within a few days after the Ypres attack, on the appeal of Lord 
Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, British women had equipped 
the entire British Expeditionary Forces with gauze pads which could be 
used as a crude mask to protect against toxics. 20 The French provided 
similar pads, and, like both the British and Germans, furnished chemi- 
cals to wet the pads in order to increase their filtering potential. 21 The 
development of an offensive capability in gas warfare naturally took 
longer. The British designated elements of the War Office to initiate 

17 (1) Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 28-35. (2) Hanslian repeats charges that the French were using gas, but 
he doubts the authenticity of reports detailing the lethality of so-called Turpimte. The French had 
used a riot control agent (tear gas) in grenades, but it had not been effective. It is unlikely that the 
French would have used lethal gas offensively without being prepared defensively, and there is no indica- 
tion that the French took any protective measures until after the Ypres attacks. Der Chemische Krieg, 
I, 11-15* and 2d ed., pp. 7-10. 

u One German authority states that German commanders lacked faith in the weapon and only allowed 
the attack as an experiment. (Ulrich Mueller-Kiel, Die Chemische Waffe Im WeltKrieg Vnd — Jetzt 
(Berlin: Verlag Chemie, 1932; unpublished U.S. Army translation, 1932), p. 17) Maj. Gen. William N. 
Porter, USA (Ret.), "World War II Chief of the Chemical Warfare Service, speculated that German 
commanders and staff officers who were nearly all professional soldiers disapproved of a weapon developed 
and managed by reserve officers and civilians. Professor Haber personally supervised the Ypres attack. 
Interv, Hist Off with Gen Porter, 24 Aug 61. 

"Liddell Hart, The Real War. pp. 129-30. 

20 Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 36-37. 

11 (1) Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, pp. 195-96. (2) Hanslian et at., Der Chemische Krieg, 
pp. 190-93. 



and supervise work on both protection and weapons and organized a 
chemical laboratory in France. Sir John French, commander-in-chief 
in the field, made Lt. Col. Charles H. Foulkes (later promoted to 
brigadier) his adviser on gas and gave him the responsibility for gas 
offensive operations in the field. 22 

The availability of weapons dictated the tactics of gas warfare. The 
Germans used chlorine cylinders because chlorine was readily available 
and because the cylinders provided the best method of placing large 
quantities of an agent on a nearby enemy. Toxic fillings in artillery 
shells were not immediately effective because of problems of containing 
a liquid, corrosive toxic under pressure and because use of liquid fillings 
required ballistic re-engineering. Moreover, an artillery shell contained 
a relatively small amount of agent. Most of the early German and 
British attacks thus took the form of the chlorine cloud of Ypres. 23 

The first British cloud attack took place at Loos, Belgium, on ay and 
27 September 191 5 and involved 6,400 chlorine cylinders on a twenty- 
five mile front. 24 Since it was impossible to cover so large a front with 
the available cylinders, an innovation was introduced — more than 
12,000 newly developed smoke candles were deployed to supplement 
and simulate the gas cloud and to conceal troops moving forward. 
While natural smoke had been used for battlefield concealment for 
centuries, this was probably the first use of artificial smoke on a battle- 
field of a modern war. The tactical employment of artificial smoke 
gave the new chemical warfare and gas services another mission, 25 

The use of cylinders to disperse gas had inherent disadvantages. These 
munitions were difficult to transport, hard to emplace, and quick to 
expend their filling — they took three to five minutes to empty. More- 
over, the success of a cylinder attack depended on the wind direction. 
The fact that the prevailing winds in France were westerlies might cast 

Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 16-17, 3^ - 4i. 

* (1) Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 36-48. (2) Wyndham Miles, "Fritz Haber, Father of Chemical Warfare," 
Armed Forces Chemical Journal, XIV (January-February, i960), 28-30. 

"British tactical organization provided a section headed by an officer to handle the cylinders for 250 
yards of trench. Ten sections made a company, four of which were authorized by the time of this first 
attack. Foulkes, Gas!, p. 57. 

25 (1) Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 74—66. (2) Hanslian et al. f Der Chemische Krieg (second edition pages 
322-24) credits the first use of smoke to the Germans, but he names neither date nor place, and he indi- 
cates that British smoke apparatus were being delivered to the front as early as July 19 ij. In his third 
edition, volume I, pages 619-20, Hanslian credits the English claim, citing Foulkes. 



some doubt on the wisdom of the Germans in introducing the cylinder 
method of gas warfare. 26 

In December 191 5, again near Ypres, the Germans introduced a new 
war gas, phosgene, a highly toxic commercial gas used in the dye indus- 
try. As a matter of fact, the Germans, British, and French had dis- 
covered the military effectiveness of phosgene almost simultaneously 
during the summer of 1915, but the Germans used it first because they 
were in a much better position to produce it in large quantities. 27 While 
Germany was first to use gas in cloud attacks, the French retaliated with 
phosgene-filled artillery shells in February 19 16. The first employment 
of a nonexplosive artillery shell for gas represented a decided tech- 
nological breakthrough. The use of explosive shell had resulted in too 
great a dispersion of gas, but a shell with only enough explosive to 
rupture the container allowed the toxic contents to form a small cloud 
at the point of impact. A tremendous bombardment was required to 
create a large cloud, and the French possessed the means for firing such a 
bombardment in their astonishingly effective 7 5 -mm. gun. French 
artillery fire, both the phosgene-filled shells and later Vincennite, a 
hydrocyanic gas mixture, was significantly more effective than German 
artillery gas fire at the time. A measure of this greater effectiveness was 
the statement of a German commander: "In order to reply to the 
dangerous gas shells of the French I have only shells which are filled 
with eau de Cologne'." 28 

Allied intelligence had predicted the German introduction of phos- 
gene, and the British developed the small box respirator to cope with 
this new agent. Air was taken into this mask through a canister filled 
with charcoal and soda lime. The wearer inhaled and exhaled through a 
rubber tube held in the mouth. The tube was connected to the canister 
for fresh air and to a "flutter valve" for exhalation. Nose clips were an 
integral part of the rubberized fabric facepiece as were eye lenses. The 
mask was uncomfortable and become more so with long wearing, and 
the heat of the face on the lenses caused condensation which greatly 

* (1) Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 43-44, 48, 64-65, 86-88, 122-26, 176-78, 182-83, 186, 206-09. (2) Fries 
and West, Chemical Warfare, pp. 390-91. 
"Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 52-53. 

^Hanslian et aL, Der Chemische Krieg, I, 20—23. The quotation, page 21, is from General von Deim- 
ling: "Xur Beantwortung den ge far kitchen Gasgescbosse der Franzosen habe ich legidlich Granaien, die 
mit r Eau de Cologne* gefullt shtd" 



interfered with vision. 29 The British mask was the best protection avail- 
able despite its defects. It had replaced gas helmets — porous fabric 
hoods impregnated with chemicals to filter gases — which were much 
less effective. The French M2 mask which was standard until nearly 
the end of the war was a modification of the gas hood wherein a face- 
piece was attached to the head with straps. 30 

Full-Scale Gas Warfare 

The British gas offensive at Loos, the German introduction of phos- 
gene, and the French employment of phosgene-filled artillery shell 
ended the first phase of gas warfare in World War I. The British at Loos 
successfully challenged German domination of gas warfare and the 
French improved upon the German introduction of phosgene. The 
era of emergency improvisations of weapons and protective equipment 
and of dependence upon the only readily available commercial toxic, 
chlorine, was over. The chlorine cloud attack had been effective when 
used with surprise against unprotected troops, but protection against 
chlorine had not been difficult to provide and surprise could not be 
counted upon since an enemy could be on guard when wind conditions 
favored an attack. The remainder of the war was to be characterized 
by a fairly equal race between Germans and Allies to discover and em- 
ploy new methods of protection, new gases, and new methods of con- 
ducting attacks. Gas warfare became a series of technical and scientific 
battles, with sometimes one set of belligerents ahead and sometimes the 
other. Gas warfare, along with the tank and military aircraft, became 
part of the World War I revolution in the art of war. 

In 191 6 the British introduced a new means of projecting gas, the 
4-inch Stokes mortar, developed from the 3 -inch version of this 
weapon, which had been the standard mortar in the British Army. Be- 
cause of their inability to manufacture gas shells, the British first used 
the mortar to fire improvised smokes and incendiaries. The Stokes gas 
shell, or bomb, as the British called it, contained six pounds of agent as 
compared to three pounds for the British 4. 5 -inch heavy howitzer shell. 

a (1) Ibid., pp. 198-500, 214-18. (2) A number of interviews with World War I veterans confirm 
the discomfort and poor vision experienced by wearers of the British mask. Interv files in CMLHO. 

TO (1) Hanslian et ah, Der Chemische Krieg, volume I, pages 195—207, maintains that the German 
leather mask, with a filtering canister attached directly to the facepiece, was the best mask of World War 
I, but Foulkes, in Gas!, page 119, challenges that claim. (2) Foulkes, Gas!, pages 53, 182, 306, com- 
ments on the gas helmets. (3) Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, pages 201-02, described the French 
Ma mask. 



Its i 5 ooo-yard range was adequate for situations in which opposing 
trenches were not far apart, and its accuracy, while not pinpoint, was 
good. Crews were capable, under combat conditions, of firing fifteen 
rounds per minute, a rate of fire more rapid than that of the howitzer. 31 
Still, the Stokes mortar had its limitations. 

The British and French had adopted a tactic of gas warfare depen- 
dent on overwhelming the enemy with vast quantities of toxics. 32 The 
massive cylinder attacks of the British and the artillery barrages of the 
French met this requirement. The Stokes mortar also could have met 
such requirements for targets less than 1,000 yards distant, but the 
number of mortars, shells, and crews necessary was beyond the ca- 
pacity of the Allies at this time. The need was for a simple inexpensive 
projector with a longer range and a larger capacity shell. Such a pro- 
jector was invented almost by accident. 

Capt. William H. Livens, commander of the British Special Brigade 
flame projector company, sought to extend both the range over which 
incendiary materials could be dispersed and the quantities of materials 
which could be employed. He found that a large steel drum buried in 
the ground almost up to the open end made a makeshift mortar from 
which could be fired a smaller drum filled with oil and cotton waste. He 
used black powder as a propellant and guncotton to ignite the oil. The 
improvised weapon was capricious and dangerous to its crew, but it was 
effective. What was more pleasing to the British was that it turned out 
to be equally effective for the projection of toxics. Livens, accordingly, 
set about making a more reliable version, one which used a boxed pro- 
pellant charge detonated electrically and which fired a cylindrical bomb 
equipped with a light bursting charge. This Livens projector could 
shoot a thin-cased bomb nearly 8 inches in diameter and 20 inches long 
and filled with 30 pounds of toxic for a distance of nearly a mile. Range 
could be varied by increasing or decreasing the propellant charges; di- 
rection was determined by careful placement at the time the weapon 
was buried. The weapon was not accurate but it did not have to be: 

81 (1) Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 181-83. ( 2 ) Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, p. 20. 

D (1) Foulkes, Gas! t pp. 197-98. It is evident throughout Foulkes* work that the massive attack tactic 
was adopted early (see Chapter VIII) and was increasingly dominant as the war progressed (see especially 
Chapter XVI). {2) Hanslian ef al. t Der Chemiscke Krieg, I, 23—27. The implication in Hanslian's work 
is that the Allied tactical concept placed more emphasis on massive gas attack than did the Germans, at 
least until the use of projectors became common, but it is difficult to see any great difference between the 
tactical concepts of the Allies and those of the Germans. 



the simultaneous firing of a 2 5 -projector battery, each projector firing 
a 6 1 -pound drum, was ideal for a large area gas barrage. 

Emplacing the Livens projector entailed a good deal of work. A 
trench had to be dug for each battery, the weapons emplaced, and then 
the trenches filled. Once this task was done the projectors could not be 
re-aimed. Even considering the amount of work involved, emplacement 
of the Livens projectors had certain advantages over the emplacement 
of cylinders. While the Livens projectors could usually be dug in some 
distance behind the front lines in daylight, cylinder emplacements were 
usually made at night because there was no practical means of denying 
enemy observation of the forward trenches. Although enemy observa- 
tion was denied by nighttime emplacement of cylinders, the sound of 
digging in positions close to the front provided noisy clues as to the 
imminence of a gas attack. 

An advantage of the Livens projector, as well as of any means of 
projecting gas, was that the warning period was reduced to the few 
seconds between the time the projectiles struck and the gas clouds 
formed. By way of contrast, the cylinder-bred clouds which billowed 
across no-man's-land gave much greater forewarning, although this 
might not prove an unqualified disadvantage to the attacker because 
the more widespread the alarm the more the enemy might be hampered 
by protective devices. Use of cylinders continued but the projector 
proved to be a formidable weapon and became a major means of launch- 
ing gas attacks. 

The first combat use of the Livens projector took place on 4 April 
19 17, the beginning of the battle of Arras. Three thousand projectors 
fired nearly 50 tons of phosgene on 31 targets. At the same time 48 
Stokes mortars alternately fired phosgene and a new gas, chloropicrin. 
Chloropicrin, which was also used by the French and the Germans, 
is a lethal gas and a strong lachrymator, but because of its lightness 
and instability it was first used primarily as a means for penetrating 
the German protective mask. The battle of Arras also saw the first 
employment of a substantial amount of British toxic artillery shell. 53 
The Arras experience evidently convinced the Germans of the useful- 
ness of the projector for it prompted them to rush into production 
their own version of the weapon which was to be first used on the 
Italian front during the following October. 84 

"Foulkes, Gas! t pp. 167—72, 191-92, 202-03, 206-09, 211-13. 
M Hanslian et al.> Der Chemhcbe Krieg, I, 24—25, 164—71, 177-82. 



But the immediate German counter to this successful Allied use of 
gas was the introduction of two new agents, diphenylchloroarsine 35 
and dichloroethyl sulfide. The latter, better known as mustard, 36 is a 
liquid in its natural state, not a gas, although it readily vaporizes. 
It is a vesicant, that is, it inflames and burns those parts of the body 
with which it comes in contact. This characteristic means that a 
mask alone is insufficient protection against the agent. Mustard, per- 
sistent in its staying power, clings to clothing and equipment, covers 
vegetation, lies in pools in low places. 37 The agent is thus particularly 
effective in defensive situations or in keeping areas clear of the enemy. 
Such a saturation as required for interdiction demanded heavy bom- 
bardment — the Germans used more than a million shells containing 
about 2,500 tons of gas in the ten days following the introduction of 
mustard. 38 

The implication of Germany's use of mustard was not lost on the 
Allies. The American expert, General Fries, termed its introduction 
"probably the greatest single development of gas warfare." 30 Brigadier 
Foulkes declared that with it the enemy had achieved "undoubted 
success in the gas war." 40 While most mustard victims were incapaci- 
tated, not killed, the casualty rate was high and most of these victims 
had to be evacuated for treatment. Evacuation of so many soldiers 
greatly weakened the Allied line. The Allies immediately wanted to 
retaliate in kind, but it was more than a year before the gas could be 
manufactured in sufficient quantity. Mustard had been known before 

M Diphenylchloroarsine was not a gas but a solid, dispersed from artillery shells in a particulate cloud. 
The Germans first used it in Flanders in July 19 17. Because contemporary masks could filter most 
vapors but not solid particles, this agent was often used with lethal phosgene in order to "break** the 

88 To the French this agent was known as yperite, after the place of its introduction. The Germans 
called it Lost, combining the first two letters of the names of the two chemists who devised its manu- 
facturing process. It was also known as Gelb Kreuz and yellow cross after the marking on German 
munitions in which it was contained. 

" (1) Hanslian et al., Der Chemiscbe Krieg, I, 26-29; 2d ed, pp. 18-20, 48— yy, 5^-58. Hanslian 
indicates (second edition, page $2) that mustard is effective from twenty-four hours in hot dry 
weather to one month or more in cold weather in a location protected from wind. In enclosed areas 
such as dugouts and cellars, it is effective for a year or more. (2) Mustard, after heavily soaking into 
porous concrete protected from weathering, has been known to cause burns after more than twenty 
years. (3) Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, pp. ijo-51, 168-71!. 

*® Hanslian et al t Der Chemiscbe Krieg, I, 28-29. 

*• Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, p. 150. 

"Foulkes, Gast, p. 323. 



the German attack, but the Allies had not adopted it because its manu- 
facture presented so many difficulties. 41 

Gas warfare required not only agents and weapons but also military 
organizations to handle the myriad technical and tactical problems of 
its employment. The appointment of Colonel Foulkes as gas adviser for 
the British Expeditionary Forces and as responsible officer for offensive 
gas operations, mentioned earlier, initiated attempts to set up an ef- 
ficient organization in the British Army. Foulkes 5 organization, desig- 
nated the Special Brigade early in 191 6, grew from four to twenty-one 
companies. Sixteen of the companies were organized in four battalions, 
each battalion having four companies assigned to handle gas cloud 
attacks; four special companies fired the 4-inch Stokes mortar; and a 
separate company operated flame projectors. 42 

The employment of flame projectors as tactical weapons was a 
concept that appealed to the Western Front belligerents, perhaps not 
as a key to the deadlock but as a nonetheless valuable device. The Ger- 
mans had first used a portable apparatus for projecting flaming oil in 
June 19 1 5. The French soon developed a similar apparatus, and shortly 
thereafter Germans, French, and British each developed small portable, 
as well as large, semifixed, projectors. The value of flame at the time 
was principally psychological — the fiery spurt of burning oil, the roar 
of the flame, and billowing clouds of black smoke had a terrifying effect 
on troops in the trenches. But the portable equipment was cumber- 
some, resupply was difficult, the field of fire was small, and the range 
rarely exceeded 30 yards. Furthermore, the operator of the portable 
apparatus was easily distinguished and highly vulnerable to small arms 
fire. The various semifixed projectors soon developed, with a range of 
from 40 to jo yards and a protected position for the operator in a 
trench, were a little better, but the field of fire was still small and the 
equipment difficult to install, maintain, and resupply. The flame pro- 
jector, with all its faults, became a responsibility of the chemical war- 
fare services. 43 

With the addition of the flame mission, the British chemical warfare 
elements had their full quota of missions for World War I — gas, smoke, 
and incendiary. The British still had no central organization to handle 

41 (1) Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 263-66, 323-26. (2) Hanslian et al. t Dcr Chemische Krieg, I, 29-30. 
(3) Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, pp. 151-J2. (4) Liddell Hart, The Real War. p. 340. 

42 Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 94-36. 

** (1) Foulkes, Gas!, pp. 49-50, 11 r-12, 162-65. (-) Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, pp. 347-f 2 - 



chemical warfare research and development, training, supply, and field 
employment and remained without one until mid- 191 6, when they 
formed a new combined organization of offensive and defensive chemi- 
cal elements in the field and appointed a director of gas services, Brig. 
Gen. Henry Thuillier. Although this reorganization made little signifi- 
cant change in the status of Foulkes's Special Brigade, it did create a 
co-ordinated chemical arm in the field. 44 The French, meanwhile, had 
established a centralized organization, the Service Chimique de Guerre > 
in September 19 15. But the French industrial potential was insufficient 
to provide the logistic capability for any significant gas warfare offen- 
sive until 191 6 and the introduction of toxic artillery shells. 45 

The Gas Service, AEF 

The discussion of Allied chemical organizations, particularly that 
of the British, is of special interest from the American point of view 
since the overseas chemical warfare contingent of the United States 
patterned its organization after the British who trained the contingent. 

Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing and the advance elements of the AEF 
landed in France in June 19 17. The United States was unprepared for 
waging chemical warfare even though it had been waged in Europe for 
over two years. Research on toxics had begun in the United States only 
a few months earlier. The nation had no gas weapons, no toxics, no 
military gas organization, and no protective supplies. It did have some 
information on gas warfare gathered by War Department observers 
with the Allies, notably by Dr. George A. Hulett of Princeton Univer- 
sity. Although the War Department had not viewed gas warfare 
seriously, Pershing's staff saw an immediate need for action, even 
before the first mustard attack, and appointed a board to make recom- 
mendations concerning gas warfare. 46 

The AEF board, which met on 18 June 19 17, recommended assigning 
an officer to "create and handle" an AEF gas organization and provid- 
ing him with assistants, funds, and authority. 47 A week later Head- 

u Foulkes, Gas!, p. 97. 

48 <i) Lefebure, Riddle of the Rhine, pp. 91 -no. (2) Hanslian et al. t Der Chemische Krieg, I, 

*" Leo P. Brophy and George J. B. Fisher, The Chemical Warfare Service: Organizing for War> 
UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1959), PP- »~5- 

"Memo, Lt Col John McA. Palmer, Chief Opns Sec Hq AEF, for CofS AEF, 30 Jul 17, sub: Gas 
and Flame Serv, Offensive and Defensive. A copy of this memo appears as General History, Appendix 
i t in History of Chemical Warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces (unpublished official history). 



quarters, AEF, asked the War Department for such an officer and 
soon thereafter temporarily assigned gas offensive responsibilities to the 
AEF chief engineer and gas defensive responsibilities to the AEF chief 
surgeon. Despite advice from the War Department in July that gas 
responsibilities in the United States were apportioned among the Ord- 
nance and Medical Departments and the Corps of Engineers, Lt. Col. 
John McA. Palmer and Lt. Col. James R. Church of the AEF staff, in 
consultation with Dr. Hulett and Capt. Walter M. Boothby, advanced 
a strong case for the organization of gas services in the United States 
and France. Church declared that the gas service in the United States 
should be subordinate to that in France in matters of policy and equip- 
ment. Both officers emphasized the necessity of immediate action, 
especially for protection. The commander of the ist Division, com- 
prising the first Army troops in France, had called for gas masks — his 
organization had none at all. 48 The timing of the comments by Church 
and Palmer suggests that the recent employment of mustard could have 
fostered their sense of urgency. 

By the middle of August 19 17 the AEF had received from the United 
States 20,000 gas masks and the news that a gas and flame regiment 
had been authorized. No other supplies, officers, or advice were received. 
About the same time Lt. Col. Amos A. Fries, Corps of Engineers, ar- 
rived in France and was about to be named director of roads when his 
orders were changed to make him engineer in charge of gas as well as 
Chief of the Gas Service, AEF. Headquarters, AEF, dispatched a cable 
to the War Department indicating that, since no further delay was 
possible, the appointment had been made. The AEF staff requested that 
Fries be designated to command the authorized gas and flame regiment. 49 

Colonel Fries took up his new duties on 22 August 19 17 and left 
Paris on the same day to make his own appraisal of the British gas 
service in the field and to determine American requirements for gas 
organization, protection, and weapons. He learned from the British 
that the American masks recently received had failed to afford adequate 
protection in British tests, and on 23 August 19 17 he accordingly 
recommended the adoption of the British small box respirator as the 
standard American mask. American troops were also to carry the 

" (1) Ibid, (i) AEF GO 8, 5 Jul 17- (3) Maj James R. Church, MC, "A Suggested Organization 
of the Gas Service of the American Army," 26 Jul 17, apps. 3 and 5 of General History, in History 
of CWS AEF. 

* e (1) Memo, H. Taylor, Hq AEF, for CofS AEF, 17 Aug 17, sub: Gas and Flame Service, app. 8, 
Genera] History, History of CWS AEF. {2) Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, pp. 7 2 ~75- 



French M2 mask for emergency use in event the British mask was lost 
or became no longer wearable. 50 

Fries returned to Paris on 28 August and completed the draft or- 
ganization for the AEF gas service. He also drafted the order formally 
establishing the AEF Gas Service. 51 The AEF order, issued on 3 
September 19 17, charged the Chief of the Gas Service "with the organi- 
zation of personnel, the supply of material, and the conduct of the 
entire Gas Service both Offensive and Defensive, including instruc- 
tion." 52 At the same time Fries became colonel and titular commander 
of the 30th Engineers, Gas and Flame, later the 1st Gas Regiment, then 
being organized in the United States under the actual command of 
Maj. Earle J. Atkinson. 53 Fries's initial problems were many: he needed 
officers and men; he needed supplies; he needed to train American 
troops; and, in order to help discharge the offensive portion of his mis- 
sion, he needed to persuade American commanders that gas was a useful 
offensive weapon. 

In meeting all these needs except that for officers and men he had to 
rely on Allied, especially British, help and experience. His own service 
he organized into an Offensive Branch and a Defensive Branch. Colonel 
Church became chief of the Defensive Branch, and Fries himself as- 
sumed the duties of the Offensive Branch. These branches were in- 
tended to operate in the field through gas officers assigned to army, 
corps, divisions, and regiments, as in the British organizational pattern. 
Both branches were to join in the operation of gas schools, the first 
two of which Fries and Boothby opened in the Army school at Langres 
on 10 October 19 17 and within the I Corps Center of Instruction at 
Gondrecourt on 15 October 19 17. The Offensive Branch was to direct 
the operations of gas and flame troops according to the British brigade 
pattern. There were then no troops to direct. The first companies of 
the 30th Engineers did not arrive in France until February 191 8, and 
it was not until the summer of 191 8 that officers began arriving in 
sufficient numbers to staff the gas service. 54 

60 Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, pp. 75-77. 
a Ibid., p. 7 6. 

m AEF GO 31, 3 Sep 17. 

61 (1) Interv, Hist Off with Maj Gen Amos A. Fries, USA (Ret.), 4 Aug 55. (2) Historical Division, 
Department of the Army, UNITED STATES IN THE WORLD WAR: 1917-1919, vol. 15, Reports 
of Commander-in-Chief, A. E. F. Staff Sections and Services (Washington, 1948), p. 291 (hereafter 
cited as Reports of Commander-in-Chief, A. E. F M Staff Sections and Services). 

** (1) General History, History of CWS AEF, pp. 6-12 and apps. 12-15, 18. (2) Fries and West, 
Chemical 'Warfare, pp. 78-79, 93-95. 



As indicated above, supply, both offensive and defensive, came mainly 
from the British and French. At first, Fries attempted to handle supply 
personally through liaison offices established in London and Paris and 
through the supply services of the AEF. Maj. Robert W. Crawford, as 
Chief of Gas Service supply, soon relieved Fries of supply operating 
functions. Crawford found that the Gas Service was automatically 
assigned lowest priority by the established supply services who had their 
own problems. He accordingly secured direct purchase authority for 
the Gas Service and arranged for the Gas Service to handle its own 
supply system all the way from requisition or purchase to actual supply 
to troops in the field. 55 

Fries felt that his most difficult problems were to persuade American 
commanders to employ gas and to educate troops to take adequate pro- 
tection against gas. It was necessary for Gas Service officers to "go out 
and sell gas to the Army." 56 A service which intended to sell its method 
of warfare, train the Army in the field, operate its own supply system, 
conduct offensive operations with its own troops, and advise on the 
conduct of both offensive and defensive operations by other combat 
troops clearly required more than a handful of officers and a more 
comprehensive organization than the one originally envisioned. 

The Gas Service was enlarged to meet the demands of its many re- 
sponsibilities whenever men and equipment became available. For ex- 
ample, a completely staffed and equipped laboratory arrived in France 
early in 191 8 and an officers' training camp was organized in France 
later in the year. 57 The provision of a laboratory had been one of the 
projects of the Office of Gas Service since the time of its organization 
in the United States in October 191 7. 58 The increasing demands on the 
service resulted in the reorganization of Fries's immediate office in 
March 191 8 to combine offense and defense into a Military Division 
and to establish a Technical and a Production and Supply Division. 
In May the Military Division was again separated into Offense and 
Defense Divisions. Finally, in June, the Gas Service in the United 
States was converted into the Chemical Warfare Service, National 
Army. The Gas Service, AEF, became the CWS AEF, officially the 

ffi (O General History, History of CWS AEF, pp. 12-14. (2) Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 
pp. 7^-79- 

"Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, p. 90. 

67 (1) General History, History of CWS AEF, pp. 18-19. (2) Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 
p. 88. 

M Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War f pp. 9-13. 

Chart 1 — Organization, Chemical Warfare Service, American 
Expeditionary Forces, 13 July 1918 

Commander in Chief 
American Expeditionary Forces 

Chief of Staff, GHQ, AEF 

oeneral Staff, GHQ, AEF 

Commanding General 
Services or Supply 


Chemical Warfare Service 

Assistant Chief 

CWS Representative 

Liaison Service 
London and Paris 

Personnel Officer 


Intelligence Division 


Production & Supply 


Coordinating Board 


Medical Director 




Drafting & Map 





Field Salvage 

SOS Depots 

Army Depots 

& Records 


1 Division 

Defense Division 

Offense Division 






Train ins & 



Personnel Liaison 

Follow Up 
and Reports 

Paris Laboratories 

Technical & 
Intelligence Liaison 


Hanlon Field 

Supply Liaison 



AEF Gas 

SOS Troaps 

Troops . 

r — 


Combat Troops 


CW Sections 

Army and 
Corps Gas 






1 ■ . 

Army Chief 
Gas Officers 



Corps & Division 
Gas Officers 

SOS CW Sections 

Gas and 


, Staff and Technical Channel 

NOTE: Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, a member of the staff of the Commander in Chief, reported to the Commanding General, SOS, in matters of 

procurement, supply, transportation, and construction, GHQ AEF GO 31, 16 Feb 18. 
Source: Adapled from: Plate VII, General History, History, CW5, AEF. 



Overseas Division, CWS, and Fries, now chief of CWS AEF, was pro- 
moted to brigadier general. 50 The final CWS AEF organization which 
was prepared at that time included six divisions, and the duties of these 
divisions are evid ence of the scope ot gas warfare activities in the final 

year of the war. {Chart i) 

The Offense and Defense Divisions within the Office of the Chief, 
CWS AEF, exercised staff supervision over tactical gas warfare activi- 
ties,, evaluated combat experience, planned the employment of gas and 
flame units, and suggested changes in gas warfare tactics and techniques 
for all combat elements through army, corps, and division gas officers. 
These "military" divisions co-operated with the Technical Division 
in supervising the AEF Gas School and the army and corps gas schools. 
The Defense Division was also charged with the issue of defensive 
equipment and therefore supervised the CWS Services of Supply (SOS) 
troops immediately involved in combat supply support and training* 60 
The Technical Division, in addition to controlling the AEF Gas School, 
directly operated chemical and medical laboratories and a gas research 
experimental station. The Office of the Medical Director, with divi- 
sional status, translated Technical Division findings into procedures for 
the care of gas casualties and co-operated with the Medical Corps in the 
development of treatment equipment and the application of care pro- 
cedures. The Intelligence Division collected chemical warfare intelli- 
gence material for the use of the operating divisions and served as a 
clearinghouse for all CWS reports and requests for information. While 
the "military" divisions and the other divisions supporting them were 
mainly oriented toward combat operations, the remaining division, 
Production and Supply, was the element charged with those functions 
most clearly associated with the basic, logistics-oriented SOS mission. 
The organizational relationship of the CWS AEF to the SOS therefore 
largely depended upon the functions of the Production and Supply 
Division. Branches of this division computed chemical materiel require- 
ments, procured munitions and equipment, supervised manufacturing 
plants in England and France, directed field salvage of chemical ma- 
terials, and controlled four CWS SOS depots, chemical sections in six 

M (i) General History ( History of CWS AEF, pp. 25, 29-52. (2) WD GO 62, 28 Jun 18. 

"General Pershing, in February 1918, had organized the Services of Supply under Maj. Gen. James 
G, Harbord, formerly his chief of staff, as a major AEF command charged with co-ordinating all the 
supply services and all AEF supply functions. 



ports of debarkation, and chemical sections of several field army 
depots. 61 

Fries 's own office, after the establishment of the SOS command, was 
located in SOS headquarters at Tours, but Fries continued to report 
to General Pershing's General Headquarters (GHQ), AEF. Most CWS 
administrative matters, except those directly relating to SOS, were 
handled through GHQ with the assistance of a CWS representative 
stationed at that headquarters. Fries handled detailed administrative 
work, including the assignment of CWS officers throughout the AEF, 
through his own administrative staff which included an adjutant, a 
personnel officer, and representatives in the AEF Liaison Service in 
London and Paris. Fries, by the time of the armistice, immediately 
supervised more than 1 50 officers. More than half of these officers were 
assigned to CWS staff and liaison duties while the remainder carried on 
laboratory and training work. Approximately another 30 officers di- 
rectly supervised CWS SOS field operations. While Fries deferred to 
field commanders in their supervision of tactical chemical operations, 
he could exert considerable pressure on tactical planning officers be- 
cause of his direct control of 168 field army, corps, and division gas 
officers. These gas officers reported to and advised their organization 
commanders according to the accepted staff pattern. The Chief, CWS 
AEF, was empowered to and did require detailed reports of offensive 
and defensive chemical operations. His "military" divisions presented 
their summaries and analyses of these reports in a weekly bulletin to 
organization gas officers. The bulletins contained criticisms of past 
chemical operations and suggestions for improvement. Gas officers on 
regimental and battalion staffs, as well as noncommissioned officers, were 
not members of the CWS; they were chosen by unit commanders from 
the unit complement. Yet, Fries could exercise some measure of control 
over these officers inasmuch as AEF orders specified that they be trained 
at CWS schools and that they be given gas warfare work as their prin- 
cipal duty. 62 

Another change which took place with the formation of the Chemi- 
cal Warfare Service in the National Army was the redesignation of the 

S1 General History, History of CWS AEF, pp. 29-33, 38-41, 73-78. 

^(i) General History, History of CVS AEF, pp. 24-27, 75-76. (2) AEF GO 79. *7 May 18, 
and GO 107, 2 Jul 18. Apps. 47 and 48 to General History of CWS AEF. (3) Commissioned 
Pers of the CWS AEF, November n, 19 18, in History of CWS AEF. (4) Comments on draft of this 
volume, Brig Gen Hugh W. Rowan, USA (Ret.), 16 Dec 60. 



30th Engineers, Gas and Flame, as the 1st Gas Regiment, CWS. This 
organization had been gradually growing as the war progressed, and by 
the time of the armistice it comprised 4 battalions with a total of 6 
American companies and 4 attached British companies. Three platoons 
of each company fired projectors, and the fourth fired Stokes mortars. 
The authorized goal of one gas regiment for each field army was not 
achieved by the time the war ended. 63 

The extent of Fries's control over CWS activities in World War I is 
important since some CWS officers subsequently viewed Fries's au- 
thority as setting a precedent for the authority of principal CWS offi- 
cers in World War II. The nature of Fries's position is also important 
because it was one of the factors in determining general and special 
staff relationships and duties. The U.S. Army had not employed the 
general and special staff concepts in war before World War I. AEF 
experience played a part in molding these concepts as they emerged in 
the period between the wars. General Pershing kept a tight rein on all 
elements of the AEF organization, and he apparently expected all his 
staff officers, including his Chief, CWS, to act as extensions of his own 
person throughout his organization. 64 Thus, Fries dealt with gas war- 
fare matters while cloaked with his commander's rank and authority. 
The extent of his control is illustrated by the fact that Fries on one 
occasion relieved a division chemical officer. 65 Fries clearly believed in 
the necessity for maintaining a field chemical warfare organization 
broad enough to link research in chemical weapons and protection by 
"the closest possible ties to the firing line." He felt that he had estab- 
lished a strong, well co-ordinated service in the AEF which encom- 
passed research, development, manufacturing and supply, tactical em- 
ployment of chemicals, and employment of chemical weapons by 
chemical troops in the field. "The success of the CWS in the field and at 
home," he wrote, "was due to this complete organization." 66 

The organizational maturity achieved in the AEF quite early in the 
war unhappily was not paralleled within the military structure in the 

88 (1) James T. Addison, The Story of the First Gas Regiment (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1919), 
pp. 256-58. (2) Three regiments and a total of fifty-four companies had been authorised in September 
1918, but most of these had not been activated. Fries and Vest, Chemical Warfare, p. 94. 

**Maj. Gen. Otto L. Nelson, Jr., National Security and the General Staff (Washington: Infantry 
Journal Press, 1946), pp. 245-300. 

66 (1) Interv, Hist Off with Rowan, 26 Sep 58. General Rowan was an assistant division gas officer 
and later division gas officer under Fries. (2) Interv, Hist Off with Maj Gen Alden H. Waitt, USA 
(Ret.) , 13 May tfi. 

"Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, p. 73. 



United States. Unprepared for gas warfare when the United States 
entered the war in April 19 17, the War Department divided responsi- 
bility for this new form of warfare among five different agencies, one 
of which was a civilian bureau. 87 

It is not strange that the people responsible for the battlefield em- 
ployment of chemical warfare were stanch and vocal pleaders for a 
more rational chemical organization in the War Department. Fries's 
dealings with the Hydra-headed, un-co-ordinated chemical warfare 
complex in Washington led to repeated requests for organizational 
improvements which would ease his labors. In making these requests, 
Fries had the full support of General Pershing. 

As indicated earlier, the War Department set up a co-ordinating 
agency known as the Office of Gas Service in October 19 17. This clear- 
inghouse for chemical matters consisted of a director and representa- 
tives from the Ordnance and Medical Departments and from the 
Chemical Service Section of the National Army — a section established 
at the same time as the Gas Service with a principal mission of providing 
the AEF with a chemical laboratory. In February 191 8 the Chemical 
Warfare Service and the Gas Division were joined in a move that failed 
to provide the administrative centralization and the prestige that could 
only come from the formation of an independent gas corps. This final 
step was taken on 28 June 19 18 with the creation of the Chemical 
Warfare Service, National Army, with Maj. Gen, William L. Sibert as 

The CWS Between the Wars 

Defining the Role and Responsibilities 

When General Fries returned from France after World War I he 
applied all of his considerable vigor to the establishment of the Chemical 
Warfare Service as a permanent part of the Regular Army. In July 
19 19 Congress had given the CWS a year's reprieve, and, in 1920, after 
debate in which the Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, the Chief 
of Staff, General Peyton C. March, and General Pershing registered 

67 The organizations and their responsibilities were: (i) Bureau of Mines: research on chemical agents; 
(2) Medical Department: the provision of defensive equipment; (3) Ordnance Department: manufac- 
ture and filling of gas shells; (4) Corps of Engineers: the formation and training of gas and flame 
units; and (y) Signal Corps: the provision of gas alarms. The organizational difficulties are fully- 
discussed in the first chapter of Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War. 



dissent, the Congress of the United States amended the National De- 
fense Act of 19 1 6 so as to make the CWS a permanent part of the 
Military Establishment. The new service received the functions of de- 
velopment, procurement, and supply of all toxic, smoke, incendiary, 
and gas defensive materials, the training of the Army in chemical war- 
fare, and the "organization, equipment, training and operation of 
special gas troops." 68 

The dissent of people as influential as Baker, Pershing, and March 
should have augured ill for the newly formed Chemical Warfare Serv- 
ice. The fact is that the period of the 1920*5 and 1930*5 was a difficult 
one for the Army establishment in general and the Chemical Warfare 
Service in particular* Reasons for this are not hard to find. This period 
between the world wars was one of disillusionment, disarmament, and 
depression. A nation, indeed a world, appalled by the costs of the re- 
cent conflict, looked for ways to prevent such a holocaust from re- 
curring. The Washington conference of 1921 tried to limit the types 
of armament civilized nations might use in warfare, and four years 
later the Geneva conference on the regulation of arms traffic looked 
toward the same end. Both conferences drew up conventions outlaw- 
ing gas warfare. The Washington treaty failed by one to achieve the 
required unanimous agreement of the five participating powers.* 9 The 
Geneva Gas Protocol of 1925 did receive the support of over forty 
nations and thus became the most influential statement regarding gas 
warfare in the body of international law. The United States and Japan 
were the two major powers that did not ratify this protocol. 

Nonetheless, the War Department General Staff took a defensive 
position toward gas warfare throughout most of this period — defensive 
both in the attitude with which it approached the subject and in the 
type of warfare upon which it concentrated. In 1922 it suspended 
work on toxic agents and restricted other CWS efforts to defensive 
measures. Although this restrained approach was frequently reaffirmed 
in the 1920^ and 193 o's, modifications in the War Department prohibi- 
tion of research on toxic gases allowed some work in this field — one 
had to know the offensive potential of an agent in order to defend 
against it. 

88 (1) Public Law 242, 66th Congress, sec. 12a. Reproduced in WD Bulletin 25, 9 June 191°* the 
source of the above quotation. (2) See Brophy and Fisher, K>rs anizinx for W ar, pp. 1 1-17J 

*The dissenter was France, which objected to the antisubmarine provision in the convention, not 
to the one against gas. 



In addition to these handicaps, the new service faced another rather 
unpleasant situation. It would seem that the large majority of the 
people who had faith in gas as a viable system, capable of contributing 
to success in battle, was centered in the Chemical Warfare Service. 
There was little support for it within the combat arms. AEF com- 
manders did not properly utilize chemical warfare in World War I, and 
it is quite probable they later looked upon it with skepticism. Many 
felt it would be an encumbrance added to the battlefield, not merely 
in the increased logistical support it would entail but in the burdens it 
would place on the infantryman and in the difficulties of decontamina- 
tion it would involve. If it were successfully used by both combatants 
it would be something akin to two fighters, each with one arm tied 
behind his back. And why fight under such handicaps? 

The Chemical Warfare Service set about accomplishing its rather re- 
stricted mission with meager resources of men and money. These 
restrictions lasted throughout the depression, but by 1939 the war in 
Europe and subsequent reaction in the United States brought about 
a definite change. The annual Congressional appropriation for the 
CWS from 1927 to 1935 came to about one and a quarter million dol- 
lars. In 1939 it was almost 3 million dollars, in 1941 it was 60 million, 
and in 1942 it was over a billion. Manpower was a similar story. In 
1933 the CWS had an actual strength of 77 officers and 413 enlisted 
men; in 1940 the numbers were 93 and 1,035; * n I 94 I i 833 and 5,059; 
and the peak in 1943, 8,103 an d 61,688. Civilian employees ranged 
from 742 in 193 1 to a peak of 29,000 in 1943. 70 

The uneasy situation in Europe also helped modify the restrictions 
imposed upon the CWS. Two years before the outbreak of war the 
service began work on a mustard gas shell filling plant at Edgewood 
Arsenal, Md. 

In the process of CWS expansion gray areas of mission responsibility 
were clearly defined, much of this work done under the direction of Maj. 
Gen. William N. Porter who became Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, 
in May 1941. This effort to define responsibilities resulted in expanded 
duties for the CWS, for example, development of a high explosive shell 
for the 4.2-inch mortar and the acquisition of complete responsibility 
for the incendiary bomb program. In 1941 the War Department gave 
the CWS the mission of biological warfare research. 

n For complete statistics, see Brophy and Fisher, {Organizing for War, pp. 2^-17. 



General Porter 

Many of the 93 Regular Army officers in the CWS in 1940 had served 
under and been tutored by Maj. Gen, Amos A. Fries. Many of them 
believed as strongly as he did in the military efficacy of gas, and they 
looked upon themselves as custodians of one of the most awesome weap- 
ons to come out of World War I. They considered the CWS unique 
among the services because it had a legal operational function such as 
only the combat arms had. True, the Corps of Engineers and the Signal 
Corps had combat roles, but neither had its own weapons which its 
own troops would employ in combat. There were also dissenters in 
the ranks of the CWS who felt that Porter and some of their fellow 
officers overemphasized the uniqueness of the CWS and the extent 
of its probable contribution to the next war. In countering these dis- 
senters, and they were probably in the minority, the advocates of gas 
warfare could point out that gas appeared to be the ideal weapon for 



aerial bombardment. General Porter, as chemical instructor at the 
Army Air Corps Tactical School 1933-37, had in co-operation with Air 
Corps tacticians successfully evolved a tactical system for aerial bom- 
bardment which was well received by many Air Corps officers. 71 Some 
CWS officers felt that a prediction made in 1920 was about to come 
true: "gas and military aeronautics will play the principal parts in the 
next war, which will be literally finished in the chemical laboratory." 72 
While military aviation became important soon after the 1939 out- 
break of World War II in Europe, gas warfare, to the surprise of many 
observers, was not initiated. Great Britain, on 3 September 1939, the 
day of her declaration of war, sought assurances from the belligerents 
that they would observe the 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibiting the use 
of gases and bacteriological methods of warfare. Germany, Italy, Bul- 
garia, Rumania, Finland, and Japan replied that the protocol would be 
observed. 73 Gas was therefore not used, and Japan, in accordance with 
her assurance to Great Britain that the Geneva Protocol would be ob- 
served, did not use gas in the Pearl Harbor attack which brought the 
United States into the war. Six months later, on 5 June 1942, the 
President of the United States threatened the initiation of gas warfare, 
but only in retaliation against Japan in the event that that nation used 
gas upon China, 74 Since the President's statement was accepted as 
national policy, it began to appear that gas warfare might not be em- 
ployed unless Germany or Japan initiated it. The possibility of enemy 
initiation demanded that the United States take protective measures 
and that it prepare for offensive retaliation, but the preparedness 
mandate lacked force and precision. 75 While these events determining 
the role of chemical warfare in international policy were taking place, 
the War Department was shaping the role the services were to play in 
possible future overseas operations. War Department planners built 
their concepts of mobilization organization around a combined field 
and theater of operations headquarters designated, as the AEF head- 
quarters had been, General Headquarters. Under the GHQ plan, when 

71 (1) Porter Interv, 24 Aug 61. (2) Waitt Interv, 13 May 61. Waitt was Porter's successor as 
instructor at the Air Corps Tactical School, (3) Interv, Hist Off with Col John C. MacArthur, USA 
(Ret.), 19 Sep 61. (4) Interv, Hist Off with Col Augustin M. Prentiss, Jr., USAF (Ret.), 25 Oct 61. 

"Edward S. Farrow, Gas Warfare (New York: Dutton, 192c), p. vii. 

75 Dale Birdsell, The Department of State and the Gas Warfare Question (unpublished Monograph 
in CMLHO), p. 1. 

"For additional information on the President's statement, see Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for 

War } FP* 63-64TI _ 

"Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War, fppT"; 9-67. I 

Chart 2 — Suggested Organization of Offices of Chemical Officers 
Theater of Operations 




Administration Division 

Supply Division 





General Supply 



Operations and Training 


Defense Section 

Policy for: Depots; traffic; Policy for: Depots; repair 
chemical rilling shops; traffic 

establ ishments pu NCTfONS 

Intelligence and Technical 

j Sectic 

Offense Section 


Mail and records/ 
personnel; fiscal 

Gas defense plans and 
procedures; standing orders; 


Research and development 
of new methods and 
processes,- investigations of 
enemy chemical materiel 
and methods; chemical 

FUNCTIONS war ' ar * in, «"'9ence 

Supervision of: Schools; 
inspections; training 


Plans for employment of 
authorized chemical agents 
by combat chemical troops 
or troops of other arms or 





General Supply 








Operations and 
Training Division 

Chemical Warfare Depots Lioison with regulating Gem i cot Warfare Depots 
and sections of General station and communications 
Depots zone traffic agencies 


Mail ond records; 
personnel; fiscal; statistical; 


Communications Zone 
chemical defense plans; 
gas defense training of 
communications zone troops; 
chemical warfare schools; 
training and replacement 


Office supervision; mail 
and records; personnel; 
fiscal; statistical; 

Sowret: FM 3-1 5, 1 7 F«b 41 . 


Intelligence and 


Collection, study, and 
transmission of information 
on development of chemical 
warfare in the field, both 
technical and tactical 

Operations and 


Planning for and supervision 
of chemical operations ,- 
offensive and defensive; 
chemicol worfare training; 
chemical warfare 


Requisitions,- depots; repair 
and filling establishments; 
transporter ion ; stocks of 
chemical warfare supplies 
in Army area 



War came the Chief of Staff or the ranking War Department officer 
designated by the President was to assume command of GHQ, assemble 
and train troops, and move them into a theater of operations for com- 
bat. The GHQ commander would then convert his headquarters into 
a theater headquarters, or he would designate a theater commander 
who would organize a theater headquarters. Representatives of the War 
Department administrative and supply services were to form a special 
staff for the GHQ and theater commander, and the senior representative 
of each service was to be the theater chief of his service. 76 

The War Department-approved CWS field operations manual pro- 
vided that the theater chief chemical officer, "a general officer of the 
Chemical Warfare Service," would organize and administer his own 
service and would exercise "technical control" over CW S activities 
through subordinate service and combat chemical officers. \{Chart 2) 

So far these provisions recapitulated World War I experience, but there- 
after the emphasis changed to stress the role of the theater chief chemical 
officer as a representative of the War Department Chief, CWS. The 
manual indicated that the CWS organization in the United States would 
plan theater materiel requirements, set initial stockages and issues, deter- 
mine the extent of theater materiel procurement, prescribe the move- 
ment, supply, and training of officers and troops, specify utilization of 
civilian labor, approve interservice agreements, and fund theater finan- 
cial transactions. 77 The GHQ CWS was to be much more closely tied to 
the War Department CWS than the CWS AEF had been. This closer tie 
was a direct outgrowth of Fries's idea of a broad-scope, co-ordinated 
service which he had helped make possible by having a clause inserted 
in the National Defense Act of 1920 assigning the responsibility for the 
supervision and operation of chemical troops to the Chief, CWS. 78 

The Administrative System 

When the United States entered World War II, the prewar plans 
had to be adapted to a multitheater war and previously unexpected 
demands for a strongly centralized Army command in Washington. 

{Map 1 ) The GHQ concept was abandoned and a "Washington Com- 

" ( 1 ) Mark Skinner Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1950), pp. 2, 295-96. (2) WD FM ioo-to» 9 Dec 40. 
"WD FM 3-iy, 17 Feb 41. 
"Porter Interv, 24 Aug tfi. 




mand Post" was created within the General Staff, and through this post 
General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, exercised command of the 
worldwide activities of the Army. At the same time, in March 1942, 
the President and General Marshall delegated the zone of interior (ZI) 
operating functions of the War Department to three major commands, 
one each for ground, air, and service. 79 Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, 
the service commander, brought the reluctant technical services, in- 
cluding the CWS, under the jurisdiction of his Services of Supply 
(SOS), later Army Service Forces (ASF). Somervell interposed his 
headquarters organization between the CWS and other operating ele- 
ments. Thus, while chemical sections were created in the ground and 
air forces commands, the formal route of communication for the Chief, 
CWS, was through Somervell's organization. The question almost im- 
mediately arose of forming theater organizations. 80 

There was little chance, in view of the subordination of the services 
to ASF and considering the command and staff doctrines which had 
reached formal statement in the period between the wars, that the 
Chief, CWS, would have any control within overseas organizations. 81 
But there were still those Fries-trained officers who were unaware of or 
prepared to disavow the extent of ASF control. These officers also be- 
lieved that should command and staff doctrines be so interpreted as to 
subordinate the CWS in overseas organizations, those overseas organiza- 
tions would be forced to accommodate themselves to the unique char- 
acter of the CWS by delegating extraordinary controls and channels 
to their service. 82 These officers felt that, as an absolute minimum, the 
Chemical Warfare Service would control gas warfare planning and 
chemical supply at all echelons from development in the United States 
to expenditure on the overseas firing line. The new War Department 
reorganization and the new doctrines were to lead to the establishment 
of procedures that were not in accord with CWS convictions. 

rt Ray S. Clinc, Washington Command Vast: The Operations Division, UNITED STATES ARMY IN 
WORLD WAR II (Washington, 195 i), chs. VI, VII. 

80 John D. Milieu, The Organization and Role of the Army Service Forces, UNITED STATES ARMY 
IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1954), chs. II and XII. 

81 Porter Interv, 2,4 Aug 61. 

M Waitt Interv, 13 May 61. General Waitt, postwar Chief, U.S. Army Chemical Corps, successor 
to the CWS, counts himself among the Fries-trained officers who strongly believed in the necessity for 
a unitary CWS organization. 



The Logistics System 

The global logistics system of the United States was oriented to an 
"impetus from the rear" pattern. 83 Global warfare and the role of the 
United States as the principal arsenal of the United Nations made it 
impractical from a War Department point of view for the World War 
II logistic impetus to come from the theater commander as it had often 
come from the theater commander in World War I. Accordingly, the 
Chief of Staff, or, more specifically, his right arm, Operations Division 
(OPD), War Department General Staff (WDGS), was the principal 
logistics authority, the allocator of resources, of the World War II 
Army. OPD served as the Army logistics policy arbiter whose duties 
included approving requirements, priorities, and plans, acting as inter- 
mediary between the theaters and the forces in the United States, and 
setting up the formulas and objectives of logistics operations. The 
Services of Supply supervised all phases of the logistics operations in the 
United States and served as the principal troubleshooter on theater 
logistics problems. OPD and other WDGS elements often referred such 
problems to ASF. The continental technical services, each in its own 
field, were responsible for the basic computation of requirements and 
for the provision of materiel. In the Chemical Warfare Service, 
troubleshooting, both formal and informal, on overseas problems was 
the province of Brig. Gen. Alden H. Waitt, Assistant Chief, CWS, for 
Field Operations. 84 

The operational focus of overseas supply was the port of embarkation. 
Each major port was responsible for a theater or theaters of operations, 
processing theater requisitions, or its automatic supply, requesting ma- 
teriel from the technical services, and actually shipping approved al- 
lowances. The responsibilities of the continental technical services 
ended at the port; the port of embarkation was in charge until cargo 
cleared the harbor. Technically, the theater became accountable for 
shipments at sea, but the physical responsibilities of the theater organi- 

a The following comments on the nature of the logistics system and theory of supply are derived 
from: (i) Richard M. Leighton and Robert W. Coakley, Global Logistics and Strategy, 1940-4$, 
UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 19^5 )> chs. IX, XIII; (2) Cline, 
Washington Command Post, chs. I, VII, XIV; (3) Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, 30 
November 194 j, compiled under the direction of Cresswell G. Blakeney, Assistant Chief of Staff, G— 4, 
ch. II. 

** (1) For discussion of requirements computation, see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From Laboratory 
to Field, \cE. XII.I (2) For organization and functions of the Office of the Assistant Chief, CWS, for 
Operations, see Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War, fch. V.| 



zation began at the port of debarkation. 85 The War Department gov- 
erned supply activities of the ports of embarkation and, theoretically 
at least, those of the theaters of operations through a War Department 
provision which specified procedures for computing requirements, re- 
quisitioning, and effecting supply. 86 The War Department system thus 
ordained clearly precluded any unitary control by any technical serv- 
ice, but even had the system permitted such control, the CWS would 
have been poorly prepared to take advantage of the opportunity. 

CWS resources available at the outbreak of war for the evolving 
global logistics system were slim indeed. Actual CWS supplies in po- 
tential overseas bases in the month of Pearl Harbor included 12 major 
items for gas warfare protection and decontamination and j major 
offensive munitions. In all, the overseas departments stocked 28 items 
from an active supply list of 34 in limited normal maintenance stocks 
or war reserves- The most important single item of antigas protective 
equipment, the service gas mask, in late 1941 was stocked overseas in 
quantities totaling 28 i y 2oy. 87 For offensive use in the event of necessity, 
the CWS and the Ordnance Department in 1941 in the overseas de- 
partments stored 242 tons of bulk persistent gases, 259 tons of non- 
persistent gases, a small quantity of toxic-filled artillery shell, and a 
small quantity of toxic-filled 4.2-inch chemical mortar shell. Even 
in an emergency, combat delivery of toxics on the enemy would have 
been only by air or artillery. The CWS lacked standard weapons to 
project toxics except for the 4.2-inch chemical mortar which was 
stocked in sufficient quantity to equip a battalion in Hawaii, a platoon 
in Panama, and a company in the United States. 88 Consequently, de- 
spite phenomenally accelerated CWS materiel production in the United 
States, the first large-scale wartime CWS logistics experience overseas, 

&5 For a discussio n of CWS continental distribution, see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From Laboratory 
to F/f/t/ Jch. XVTI 

M WD Memo W-700-8-42, 10 Oct 42, sub: Sup of Overseas Depts, Theatres, and Separate Bases. 

87 Stockages in the United States were likewise extremely limited, For example, the total mask 
stockage, including that in the continental United States, in late 1941, was 2,85j,joo, an amount 
almost a million less than the war-end stockage of the lightweight service mask in the European 
Theater of Operations alone. 

88 (1) Weekly Rpt for CofS, CWS Munitions on Hand as of 12 Dec 41, dated 20 Dec 41, CWS 
319. 1/2249. ( z ) CW$ Materiel Status Rpt for Overseas Theaters, Mar 4j, cited in Ben Baldwin, 
Alfred J. Bingham, and Paul W. Pritchard, Readiness for Gas Warfare in Theaters of Operations, 
CMLHO draft MS. (3) Memo, Lt Col Charles C Herrick, WPD, to Chief Opns Gp WPD, to Feb 42, 
sub: Use of Toxic Gases. WPD r6y-23, in OPD i6j-io through 16J-24. 



in North Africa, involved at the outset no offensive materials and only 
one new piece of equipment, the mechanical smoke generator. 

The administrative arrangements of the CWS and the War Depart- 
ment were to be tested earlier than the logistic procedures. Before 
United States entry into World War II, the CWS had staff officers and 
units in the Philippine and Hawaiian Departments, and a CWS officer 
was on duty as assistant military attache in London. These overseas 
CWS elements played a role in the military events following the Pearl 
Harbor attack, and a CWS section was established in Australia when 
the first American troops reached that continent. But the first War 
Department effort to establish a theater 89 headquarters in its own image 
took place in England. This theater, which was to become the Euro- 
pean Theater of Operations (ETO), represented the largest overseas 
undertaking of the Army in terms of men and materials during World 
War II. In the European theater, perhaps more extensively than in 
other theaters, those CWS officers who believed in a unique and unitary 
service first tried and then modified their administrative concepts. 

M The term theater is used in this volume to indicate any overseas area of operations of the United 
States Army. It is also used to mean the principal United States headquarters in the area under con- 


The CWS in the European Theater 

Planning and Organization: 1940-43 

Erecting the Framework for an Overseas Command 

CWS officers in the United States followed the initiation of World 
War II in Europe with keen interest as a chance to test predictions that 
gas would become a major weapon of the war. There was no indication 
that gas was used in Hitler's attack on Poland, but the British Govern- 
ment had begun issuing gas masks to military and civilians alike even 
before the declaration of war. Lt. Col. Charles E. Loucks, CWS, in 
June 1940 arrived in France to fill the position of assistant military at- 
tache in the American Embassy and to serve as CWS observer. With 
the fall of France shortly thereafter, Loucks was transferred to England 
in the same capacity. The most interesting development early in the 
European war from the CWS point of view was the German incendiary 
bombing of England. Loucks reported extensively on bomb types and 
effects of bombing. 1 

Loucks did not become a member of the American Special Observer 
Group (SPOBS) , which was organized in England prior to the United 
States entry into the war, but in February 1942 his successor as military 
attache, Col. Carl L. Marriott, was also designated Chemical Officer, 
United States Army Forces in the British Isles (USAFBI), the first 
official American command in Europe, in fact a redesignation of 
SPOBS. 2 Marriott thus assumed the duties of reporting, still principally 

*CMLHO Biographical Sketches; Ma] Gen Charles E. Loucks. 

a (i) CMLHO Biographical Sketches: Col Carl L. Marriott. (2) [Henry G. Elliott] MS, The 
Predecessor Commands, SPOBS and USAFBI, pt. I of The Administrative and Logistical History of the 

F.TO, Hist Div USFET, 1946, p. *39, OCMH. 



reporting on incendiary bombings, and he began to oversee the chemical 
warfare protection and training of American troops. Lt. Col. Lewis 
F. Acker established a chemical section in the headquarters of U.S. 
Army V Corps, the first U.S. ground forces organization to arrive in 
the British Isles. 3 

On 2 May 1942 Colonel Marriott was forced by ill health to return 
to the United States, and Col. Charles S. Shadle assumed the dual role. 
By the time of Shadle 's appointment, the duties of Chemical Officer, 
USAFBI, were demanding full time: there was not only the necessity 
of seeing to the equipment and training of increasing numbers of 
American troops but also the requirement for participating in and 
initiating administrative, supply, and operational planning for what 
was clearly to become a major overseas command. At that time, a little 
more than a month before the President's first pronouncement on gas 
warfare, neither national nor international policy on gas warfare was 
clear. CWS officers always assumed, in absence of definite information 
to the contrary, that their first duty was to make as many defensive and 
offensive gas warfare preparations as possible. In June Col. J. Enrique 
Zanetti, CWS incendiary expert and World War I liaison officer on 
Fries's staff, arrived to relieve Shadle of the attache position. 4 Also in 
June Col, Crawford M. Kellogg, six officers, and nine enlisted men of 
the Chemical Section, Eighth Air Force, arrived in England, The Eighth 
Air Force Chemical Section had been activated along with the Eighth 
Air Force headquarters at Boiling Field in April. 5 

While the chemical sections in the British Isles were organizing and 
embarking on their planning and supply duties, other organizational 
developments were taking place in the United States. The President and 
his military advisers in consultation with the British had decided to 
establish a theater of operations headquarters in England. A manual 
describing theater headquarters organization existed, but the manual 
had been written before the War Department reorganization into 
three commands with the attendant revision of organizational policy. 
Furthermore, United Nations strategists had not yet decided upon 
launching a ground offensive, so that the first mission of the American 

'interv, Hist Off with Col Lewis F. Acker, USAR (Ret.), 9 Jun 61. 

* (1) CMLHO Biographical Sketches: Brig Gen Charles S. Shadle. (2) MS, CWS History, Hq SOS 
ETO (hereafter cited as CWS SOS History), n.d. (3) Waitt Interv, 13 May tfi. 

6 History of the Cml Sec Eighth AF VIII AFSC for the Period 21 Apr 42 to 31 Dec 42 (hereafter 
cited as History, Cml Sec Eighth AF). CWS J14.7 Eighth AF. 



theater headquarters would be co-operation with the British and super- 
vision of a materiel build-up in anticipation of a combined assault upon 
the European continent at some future date. The second mission 
would be the support of Eighth Air Force operations and the support 
of ground and service troop training and equipment. Emphasis upon 
logistics organization was clearly indicated. The War Department 
tricommand organization was not prescribed for a theater in the regu- 
lations which antedated this organization, but neither was it proscribed. 
General Marshall set about organizing a tripartite theater command, 
and, since the air element in the form of Eighth Air Force already 
existed and the ground element would not be important for the time 
being, he concentrated on that service element. Generals Marshall and 
Somervell picked Maj. Gen. John C. H. Lee to be the European theater 
SOS commander. They oversaw the organization of Lee's headquarters 
in the United States, and they instructed Lee on Marshall's desires con- 
cerning theater organization. 6 

Marshall's, Somervell's, and Lee's organization and organizational 
concepts proved important to the CWS. The manual provided that a 
theater chief chemical officer would restrict himself and his immediate 
staff to the formulation of broad policy. He would operate his service 
through technical control of subordinates. Subordinates for combat 
matters, as in the CWS AEF, were to be army, corps, and division 
chemical officers. Subordinates for service and supply matters were 
to be on the staffs of the communications zone, regulating station, and 
advance, intermediate, and base section commanders. 7 {Chart 3 ) With 
such decentralization of operations, the immediate office of the theater 
chief chemical officer was to have only one operating division for re- 
search, development, and intelligence and a small staff. General Fries, 
working under a highly centralized policy, had needed a large staff and 
six operating divisions. The problem in the case of the European theater 
organization was that neither the World War I type of organization 
nor the manual organization seemed to apply. 

General Somervell's ASF instructed the chiefs of the services in the 
United States to provide top-quality officers to join Lee's staff before it 

• Roland G. Ruppenthal, Logistical Support of the Armies, Volume 7, UNITED STATES ARMY IN 
WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1953), pp. 31-38. 

7 (1) WD FM 3-15, 17 Feb 41. (2) WD FM 100-10, 9 Dec 40. (3) WD FM 3-5, 20 Jul 42. 
Previously published in draft, 1 June 1942, and in an unnumbered WD series as Chemical Warfare 
Service Field Manual, Volume I, Tactics and Technique, 1 August 1938. 

Chart 3 — Planned Distribution of Staff and Service Agencies, Chemical 
Warfare Service, Theater of Operations 


Air Force 
Chemical Officer 

Bomber Command 


ol Officer | 

Bomber Wing 

| Chemical Officer"] 

Fighter Command 

Chemical Offici 

Fighter Wing 

| Chemical Officer | 

Air Support Command 

Chemical Officer J 

Bomber Wing 

Chemical Officer j 

Air Service Command 

[Chemical Officer 

Air Depot Group 

Commanding Officer 
QiemkQl Section 

Air Service Group 



| Chemical Officer | 

Chemical Air 
Operations Company 

Chemical Air 
Company, Aviation 

Chemical Air Main- 
tenance Company 

Station Chemical 


Chemical Officer 

Chemical Laboratory 

Chemical Impregnating 



Communications Zone 
Chemical Officer 


General Depot 


Commanding Officers 
Chemical Depots 

Commanding Officer 
Chemical Section 

_ Advance Section 

^ Chemical Officer ^ 

Intermediate Section 


Chemical Officer ^ 

_ Base Section 


Chemical Officer 

Chemical Depot 

Chemical Mainte- 
nance Companies 

Chemical Composite 
(Service) Componies 

Chemical Decontam- 
ination Companies 

Chemical Smoke 
Generator Companies 

Chemical Depot 



Chemical Officer 


Chemical Depot 

Chemical Maintenance 

Chemical Decon- 
tamination Company 

Chemical Composite 
(Service) Compony 



Chemical Officer 


Chemical Officer 

Soorw: Ada pf«d from: FM 3-15, 17 F«b 41 and C2, 6 May 43. 



left to go overseas. General Porter, under the assumption that he was 
appointing a theater chief chemical officer, chose Col. Edward Mont- 
gomery, one of the four Regular Army colonels in the appropriate age 
group within the CWS, to head the group. Montgomery's deputy, Col. 
Lowell A, Elliott, and three of his division chiefs, Cols. Hugh W. 
Rowan, John C. MacArthur, and Edwin C Maling, were top-ranking 
Regular Army lieutenant colonels then recently promoted to tem- 
porary colonel. These officers, several junior officers, and a number of 
enlisted men joined Lee's headquarters at Indiantown Gap Military 
Reservation to await transportation to England. 8 

General Lee and a small advance echelon of his headquarters arrived 
in London on 24 May 1942 and immediately set to work activating the 
SOS USAFBI. Lee just as immediately ran into a storm. The USAFBI 
staff was adamantly opposed to Lee's planned subordination of the 
theater service chiefs to the SOS commander since that subordination 
implied exactly what the War Department intended — SOS control of 
theater service and supply policy. After much discussion and reviewing 
of directives, the first of many compromises on theater organization 
was reached in June closely following the redesignation of USAFBI as 
the European Theater of Operations, United States Army (ETOUSA) . 
In this compromise the chemical warfare and ten other theater special 
staff sections were given over to the control of Lee's SOS while re- 
taining their titles as theater special staff sections. Colonel Mont- 
gomery, who arrived in June, was designated chief chemical warfare 
officer and a member of the theater special staff. The SOS headquarters 
and the offices of the theater service chiefs were moved from London 
ninety miles to Cheltenham. The theater headquarters, now com- 
manded by Lt. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, remained in London. 
Shadle was named CWS representative at Headquarters, ETOUSA, 
and given two officer assistants. Shadle's position, reminiscent of the 
position of CWS AEF representative at GHQ, was established in ac- 
cordance with the basic theater organizational directive which pro- 
vided for a service representative when the theater chief of service was 
not located at theater headquarters. 9 

Still, from the CWS point of view, the situation was not a happy one. 
If Montgomery was to be represented in, rather than resident in, theater 

3 <i) Porter Interv, 24 Aug 61. (2) CWS SOS History. 

• (1) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, 1, }7~59. (2) CWS SOS History. 



headquarters, the CWS preparedness and advisory mission could only 
be properly performed if he had a large, strong operational staff such as 
Fries had had at Tours. The prospects of getting such a staff at Chelten- 
ham were dim since Cheltenham was intended to be a service and supply 
headquarters only. Montgomery consequently spent much of his time 
in the London echelon of SOS while Elliott proceeded to Cheltenham in 
the dual role of deputy and temporary chief of the Supply Division. In 
Cheltenham, Capt. Warren S. LeRoy, Acting Chief, Storage and Issue 
Section, Supply Division, at once resumed work on storage and issue 
procedures for chemical supplies which he and the OCCWS (Office of 
the Chief, Chemical Warfare Service) staff had begun in the United 
States. Maj. Maurice H. Wright activated the Procurement Section, 
Supply Division, while Maj. John J. Hayes set up a Requirements Divi- 
sion. Rowan and MacArthur reported to Cheltenham early in July. 
Rowan set up the Technical Division while MacArthur established the 
Operations and Training Division, but for several weeks both officers 
were confined to planning and background work since their activities 
were inappropriate to the work of the Cheltenham command and since 
they had no assistants and very little equipment. 10 

By the end of July Montgomery was able to bring about some im- 
provement in the maladjusted organizational distribution. He secured 
the transfer of Rowan's Technical Division and Wright's Procurement 
Section to the London echelon of SOS. The Technical Division was 
charged with liaison concerning all technical matters both with the 
British and with headquarters other than the SOS, and Wright was 
given the additional duty of liaison with the British on lend-lease mat- 
ters. In both cases, location in Cheltenham would have greatly com- 
plicated communications and the discharge of normal functions. 11 
Rowan set up his London office at the end of the first week in August 
with two officer assistants. Wright was allotted one assistant. Approxi- 
mately two weeks later Shadle was designated Chief Chemical Officer, 
Allied Force Headquarters ( AFHQ) , a position at least in theory 
superior to that of theater chemical officer. AFHQ, a combined su- 
preme headquarters, was preparing for the North African invasion. 

10 (i) CWS SOS History, (2) Personal Ltr, Col Rowan to Col William C. Kabrich, Chief, Tech 
Serv OCCWS, 8 Sep 42. CWS 314.7 Pers Files, ETO. Unless otherwise noted, all personal letters 
relating to the European theater cited hereafter are from this file (see [Bibli ographica l Note} . (3) 
Comments on draft of this volume, Col Lowell A. Elliott, USA (Ret.), 16 Jan 61. 

11 Personal Ltr cited in n, 10 (2), above. 



MacArthur moved in as his replacement and took over supervision 
of the chemical warfare exercises for which planning, in co-ordination 
with British chemical warfare authorities, was virtually complete. 
Since MacArthur was Montgomery's planning officer and his training 
policy chief, MacArthur's move to London completed the physical 
transfer of all chemical warfare policy, technical, advisory, and liaison 
functions to theater headquarters while organizationally all but Mac- 
Arthur remained in the SOS. 12 

Also in August 1942 the operating elements of the CWS began to 
sort themselves out. Col. Leonard M. Johnson arrived in Cheltenham to 
become Chief, Supply Division. Although few CWS supplies were 
arriving in England, the Supply Division was already working on stor- 
age and distribution measures. At about the same time, Colonel Maling, 
his four officers and five enlisted men, began the establishment of the 
CWS training operations within the newly authorized American School 
Center at Shrivenham. The CWS had hoped and planned to establish its 
own school but had been obliged to participate in the centralization of 
theater training activities. Centralization did offer advantages of better 
facilities and equipment and better handling of admissions than a single 
service could manage. 13 Kellogg, meanwhile, had distributed his ten 
Eighth Air Force chemical officers among three chemical sections — 
one, to control supply and training branches in the Eighth Air Force 
headquarters, another, to direct supply operations in the VIII Air 
Force Service Command (AFSC), and a third, to supervise ground 
service and training in the VIII Bomber Command. While these sec- 
tions were in the process of organization, Kellogg and his staff worked 
on a revision of the war gas supply plan which had been formulated by 
his section in the United States. Since, even in this early period, both 
the War Department and the forces in the theater had accepted the 
policy that any gas warfare retaliatory or offensive effort would be 
the operating responsibility of the air forces, the Eighth Air Force toxic 
supply plan was crucial to the gas warfare potential of the CWS 
ETO. 14 It then appeared that the CWS ETO pattern was set, and the 
pattern followed neither the World War I precedent nor the prescrip- 
tions of regulations. Whether the CWS ETO could accomplish its 

u CWS SOS History. 

u History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. 



mission through the use of this pattern remained to be seen. The first 
test soon came when England became a base for the North African 
invasion (Torch operation) for which the European theater provided 
logistical support. Largely as a result of providing officers and men for 
Torch, CWS ETO experienced sweeping staff changes. 

Colonel Montgomery was recalled to the United States for special 
duty in September 1942. Elliott was appointed to establish a chemical 
section for the forming Twelfth Air Force headquarters, destined for 
North Africa, and Maling was attached to the AFHQ planning staff 
in a nonchemical capacity. One lieutenant colonel, six majors, and 
three captains from the London and Cheltenham CWS elements soon 
joined the North African forces. Kellogg was the senior CWS officer 
remaining with European theater forces, but Rowan, senior CWS officer 
in the SOS, succeeded Montgomery in acting capacity. 15 Elliott's duties 
as deputy were divided between Johnson in Cheltenham and Mac- 
Arthur in London. Maling's post at Shrivenham went to a succession of 
junior officers. 16 

By mid-September Torch was not only creating a constant drain 
on manpower, but it was also demanding materiel, support for opera- 
tional planning, and readiness inspection. At the same time, the base 
sections, local supply and service organizations, were organizing in the 
United Kingdom, and supply and service installations were being acti- 
vated as rapidly as possible. Furthermore, although the materiel and 
troop build-up in England had been brought virtually to a standstill 
in deference to the North African venture, operational and informa- 
tional demands in the theater were growing apace. Theater officers re- 
garded the strategic hiatus with respect to ETOUSA as only temporary, 
and they continued to believe that the prime task in the United King- 
dom was to prepare for eventual assault on the Continent. To meet an 
important CWS need for intelligence information, the CWS arranged 
for Colonel Zanetti, assistant military attache, to become in effect chief 
of an intelligence division. Capt. Philip R. Tarr and two other officers 
were transferred from Cheltenham to London on 19 September 1942 
to assist Zanetti. One of Maling's successors at the American School 

15 While the manual provided that the senior CVS officer in the theater would be chief of service 
(see above, |"p. 3 o| ) and while Montgomery's seniority had been a factor in his appointment, the seniority 
principle did not consistently apply during World War II. Still, Kellogg could probably have secured 
the appointment had he desired it. Waitt Interv, 13 May 61. 

"CWS SOS History. 



Center and a Supply Division section chief moved out to establish 
chemical sections in two newly activated base sections. Maj. Frederick 
E. Powell, another section chief, and seven company-grade officers 
went from Supply Division to establish chemical sections in general 
depots and chemical branch depots. Since three other Supply Division 
section chiefs had gone to the Torch forces, newly arrived lieutenants 
filled most supply division staff positions. 17 

First Reorganization 

On 9 November 1942 the War Department notified the theater 
headquarters that Colonel Montgomery, who had been appointed 
chemical officer in the War Department Air Forces Headquarters, 
would not be returning to the European theater. The theater com- 
mander appointed Colonel Rowan chief chemical warfare officer and 
assigned him to theater headquarters in London. Thus, Rowan officially 
became resident at theater headquarters and the position of CWS repre- 
sentative was automatically abolished. Rowan appointed MacArthur 
his deputy and executive officer. 18 While General Porter had not had 
a hand in Rowan's appointment, he was well satisfied with it. 19 Rowan s 
qualifications were good. At 48, he was a year younger than the average 
age of the ETO technical services chiefs. He held the same permanent 
rank, lieutenant colonel, as all but one of his peers. At the time of his 
appointment he held the same temporary rank as three of the service 
chiefs — the four others having attained general officer rank. Like most 
other senior CWS officers, Rowan had World War I experience, as as- 
sistant gas officer and gas officer of the division in which General Lee 
had been chief of staff. He was a chemist, a graduate of Yale Univer- 
sity, the Chemical Warfare School, and the Army Industrial College. 
Early in his Army career, Rowan had been marked as an expert on in- 
dustrial mobilization in the chemical field, and he had served several 
tours, including one in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of War, in 
positions relating to that specialty. He had also had assignments in 
war planning, in chemical technical work, and in troop training, and 

" (1) Ibid. (2) History, Sup Div CVS Hq SOS ETOUSA (hereafter cited as History, Sup Div, 
42-43). ETO Admin 54JA Cml Warfare. 
18 CVS SOS History. 
"Porter Interv, 24 Aug 61. 



he had served a 4-year tour as assistant military attache in Berlin at the 
beginning of the Nazi period. 20 

A week after Rowan's appointment ETOUSA clarified and regu- 
larized the status of the theater CWS. ETOUSA assigned specific 
duties and functions to the CWS office at Cheltenham under the con- 
trol of SOS. These included supervision of all CWS supply activities 
across the board from requirements, purchasing, and manufacture 
through storage and issue and maintenance and repair to transportation 
and shipping as well as supervision of CW training for SOS troops, and 
CWS administration within SOS. 21 The specification of duties at 
Cheltenham and the additional provision that he could transfer per- 
sonnel needed in his theater headquarters office to provide planning, 
policy, training, technical, and intelligence services from Cheltenham 
or the London SOS offices, left Rowan free to organize his office as the 
situated dictated. On 18 November he submitted his proposals to G-3, 
ETOUSA, and on 23 November published the approved pattern in 
Office of the Chief Chemical Warfare Officer, ETOUSA, Office Order 
No, 1. Mac Arthur officially resumed the post of Chief, Operations and 
Training Division, which in fact he had never left, in addition to his 
duties as executive officer and deputy. Lt. Col. Walter M. Scott's po- 
sition as Chief, Technical Division, was affirmed, and he was given 
supervision of a liaison officer who had been stationed at the British 
chemical warfare experimental center at Porton. Rowan named Maj. 
Roy LeCraw to head a new Administrative Division. Captain Tarr,i 
officer, and 2 civilian clerks were to form an Intelligence Section, pri- 
marily an office of record since Colonel Zanetti continued to handle 
intelligence, within the Administrative Division. The total complement 
of Rowan's theater headquarters office, besides himself, was 12 officers, 
5 enlisted men, and 5 civilians. 22 

The November 1942 reorganization of the CWS ETOUSA produced 
an organization similar to the one suggested in the manual for the 
office of a theater chemical officer. The situation of the CWS and the 
theater itself was not a "book" situation. The theater was active 
logistically but its strategic destination was more in doubt than it had 

"(i) CMLHO Biographical Sketches: Brig Gen Hugh W. Rowan. (2) Ruppenthal, Logistical 
Support, 1, 1— 10. 

"ETOUSA GO J9, 16 Nov 42. 

OCCWO ETO Off Order i, 23 Nov 42. ETO Admin 544 Cm! Warfare. (2) CWS SOS 




been before the North African invasion. The lines of the theater 
commands were not clear and no chief of service could be positive 
about the precise character and scope of his service's mission. In 
Rowan's case, one element of his office, his Supply Division, was located 
ninety miles away from him under the jurisdiction of a command 
which might be considered an SOS field organization. A "book" 
solution to these problems of communications, relationships, and super- 
vision within the CWS ETO would have been to designate the Supply 
Division as a communications zone chemical section, but when the 
SOS command at Cheltenham decided upon this action it served only 
to further confuse the issue of mission and supervision. Neither 
Rowan's London office nor the Cheltenham branch was prepared to 
operate as a separate entity under the prevailing theater pattern. 

On 1 8 October 1942 when Supply Division absorbed Requirements 
Division, Colonel Johnson supervised eleven CWS officers and twenty- 
two enlisted men in Cheltenham, He also supervised the procurement 
and reverse lend-lease activities of Major Wright and his assistant in 
London. Support of the North African operation and activation of 
a logistics system in the United Kingdom kept this staff fully 
occupied. 23 After the reorganization of Rowan's London office and 
just before Johnson's transfer to the North African forces, the 
Cheltenham SOS headquarters designated Johnson as Montgomery's 
successor as Chief Chemical Warfare Officer, SOS, and renamed the 
CWS Supply Division as the SOS Chemical Warfare Section. 24 Johnson 
took the position that the SOS order was meaningless. Rowan was 
clearly Montgomery's successor, and he considered himself as Rowan's 
assistant. He furthermore lacked the staff and the authority in the 
field to establish a communications zone (SOS) chemical section. 
While his office had the operating functions of determining materiel 
requirements, preparing requisitions on the United States, and directing 
distribution of chemical supplies within the theater, its functions were 
more nearly those of a supply policy division in the office of a theater 
chief chemical officer than they were the functions of a theater supply 
and distribution command chemical section. Also, if Johnson had 
attempted to establish a communications zone chemical section, he 
would have deprived Rowan of the direct control of chemical supply 

"History, Sup Div, 42-43. 

24 SOS ETO GO 80, 10 Dec 42. 



since Rowan had no supply policy element in his London office. 25 
The only outcome of the SOS order was the establishment of the 
largely inactive Cheltenham element of the CWS Operations and 
Training Division as the Training Branch, Supply Division. A lieu- 
tenant was assigned to head the Training Branch and he was allotted 
one part-time adviser and one part-time assistant. The branch was 
assigned the function of supervising chemical training within SOS 

Major LeRoy, who succeeded to the position of SOS chemical war- 
fare officer when Johnson was designated Chemical Officer, Mediter- 
ranean Base Section, North African Theater of Operations (NATO), 
in December, made no change in policy. Indeed, LeRoy experienced 
enough difficulty in staffing Supply Division without trying to extend 
the scope of his activities. He was the only field-grade CWS officer 
left in Cheltenham, and he had no captains on his immediate staff of 
fourteen officers. His executive officer, Lt. Arthur T. Hingle, also 
served as Chief, Statistical Section. Lt. Ingalls S. Bradley headed both 
the Operations and Service Sections while another lieutenant was 
Chief, Processing Section, and assistant in the Service Section. LeRoy 
did not staff prescribed subsections for salvage, maintenance, impreg- 
nating, and filling plants in order to concentrate manpower in the 
requirements, control, transportation, and issue areas. 27 Such concen- 
tration of effort was demanded in order to meet the needs of the North 
African forces, but late in 1942 and early in 1943 when chemical 
supply requirements for North Africa were increasingly met by direct 
shipment from the United States, the need for concentration in the 
same areas did not lessen because now the task of top priority was 
preparing the European theater for gas warfare. The first question 
raised in connection with theater gas warfare preparedness was that 
of the requirement for chemical offensive and defensive materials and 
service troops. Once requirements had been estimated, it was necessary 
to plan storage and distribution within the theater. 

38 Interv, Hist Off with Col Leonard M, Johnson, USA (Ret.), 18 Aug 59. 

M History of the Tng Div CWS Hq SOS ETOUSA, 27 Jul 42-31 Dec 43 (hereafter cited as History, 
Tng Div SOS). ETO Admin j 4 jA Cml Warfare. 

" (1) History, Sup Div, 42-43. (2) CWS SOS ETO Memo 19, 20 Dec 42, sub: Assignment of 
Pers. SOSCW 200.3 (19 Sep 42)SD, in ETO Admin j4jA Cml Warfare. 



Gas Warfare Planning 

Rowan's staff had completed most of the basic work on a compre- 
hensive gas warfare plan for the European theater before the War 
Department letter requiring such a plan was received. 28 Kellogg and 
his staff had prepared air force supply and storage estimates for the 
offensive portion of the plan. Late in 1942 LeRoy took a draft of the 
ETO plan to Washington where he discussed it in detail with General 
Porter's staff and exchanged information on theater and stateside 
preparations. Later OCCWS referred the draft plan to the chemical 
liaison officer on the OPD staff. 20 But since the ETO plan was predi- 
cated on the vast expansion of the theater for a continental invasion, 
as yet uncertain, it could only be brought to an indefinite conclusion. 

Policy and strategy were in the making. The Allied leaders decided 
at the January Casablanca Conference to revive the build-up in the 
United Kingdom and took a number of actions during 1943 to flesh 
out that decision. 30 In November 1942 the Combined Chiefs of Staff 
had briefly turned their attention to gas warfare and now an Allied 
as well as a United States policy was emerging. This policy required: 
(1) a co-operative American and British effort aimed at arranging 
the defensive preparedness of all United Nations troops; and (2) the 
accumulation of sufficient toxic munitions to make immediate retalia- 
tion possible should the enemy initiate gas warfare anywhere in the 
world. 31 

The Second Reorganization 

In connection with the determination of Allied policy on chemical 
warfare and in order to evaluate the status of chemical warfare pre- 
paredness among American troops, General Porter and Brig. Gen. 
Charles E. Loucks of his staff journeyed to England in March of 1943, 
and from there went on to North Africa. Loucks, writing his own 

*Ltr, TAG to CG ETOUSA ct aL, 19 Dec 42, sub: Theater Plans for Cml Warfare. AG 381 
(ia-18-42) OB-S-E-M. 

"Draft Plan, Hq ETO, Jan 43, sub: Theater Plans for Cml Warfare (noted: "by hand from 
Major LeRoy"), with cover Memo, CCWS to Maj F. G. Schmicc, WDGS, 5 May 43, sub: Tentative 
ETO Plan. CWS SPCVO 381, ETO. 

*° Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, /, ch. III. 

" See Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for Wgr jch. IV. | 



General Porter and Top-Ranking Chemical Officers in London, 1943. 
(Left to right) General Porter, General Loucks, Colonel Kellogg, Colonel 
Rowan, Colonel Mac Arthur, and Colonel Zanetti, 

and Porter's impressions, advised OCCWS on several European theater 
problems and developments. The two officers found that the ETO had 
enough supplies for the force then in the theater, but they considered 
some of the items from the United States poor in quality. 32 The theater 
organization situation, they believed, was unsatisfactory. It appeared 
to them that "the Commanding General, Army Service Forces in 
Great Britain [sic] is entirely independent of the Commanding Gen- 
eral, European Theater of Operations. The latter is dependent on the 
former for the supply but does not function as his superior." 33 
Officially, the theater commander, now Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews, 
certainly functioned as General Lee's superior, but Loucks's words were 
probably intended to describe the de facto rather than the de jure 

Ibid., pp. ioo—ioi. 

ffl Ltr, Gen Loucks to All Concerned [OCCWS], 23 Apr 43, sub: Inspection of Cml Warfare Ac- 
tivities in Great Britain. CWS SPOJFS 319.1 (Cml Warfare Activities in Great Britain). 



situation with respect to the CWS. The import of these remarks was 
that Rowan, despite his official status as theater chief chemical warfare 
officer, could in fact work only through Lee under whose jurisdiction 
his office fell Consequently, he had no direct channel of communica- 
tion and authority through which he might, in the words of the manual, 
exercise "general technical supervision over his service as a whole." 34 
Such supervision was vital. Although the European theater was active 
at the time only in the air war, the greatest threat of gas warfare 
initiation was posed by the known German industrial chemical poten- 
tial. The heavy concentration of American and British strength in 
the United Kingdom and the proposed build-up of men and materials 
there presented to the Germans excellent targets for vesicant gases. 
Germany was unlikely to launch a gas attack on the United Kingdom 
since she had not done so in the great blitz bombings of 1940-41 and 
since she would fear retaliation. But no chances should be taken, from 
the CWS point of view, by failing to build up a retaliatory potential. 
Developing such a potential, laying the defensive and offensive plans, 
and co-ordinating CWS operations in the theater demanded that 
Rowan have some direct channel through which to operate. 

Porter's solution for the organizational impasse was to suggest that 
"the officer occupying the position of chemical officer for the theater 
commander" take the initiative in securing the co-operation and co- 
ordination of all the principal chemical officers in the theater. In other 
words, he proposed using the informal channels of personal and tech- 
nical correspondence and communication among officers of the same 
service, known as technical channels, in place of formal command 
channels. Porter further suggested that he would personally elicit such 
co-operation. It is interesting to note that Loucks did not refer to 
the theater chief chemical warfare officer nor to the chief of service. 
In a listing of personnel, he cited Rowan as "Chemical Officer, Army 
Service Forces" and "for the present . . . also the staff chemical officer 
for the European Theater of Operations." 35 

Clearly, while Porter and Loucks accepted Rowan as theater chief 
chemical officer, they were not prepared to acknowledge that there 
was a theater chief of the CWS. Rowan was, as he had been from the 
previous November, Chief Chemical Warfare Officer, ETOUSA. In 

** FM ioo-io, 9 Dec 40. 

"Ltr, Loucks to [OCCWS], 23 Apr 43. 



the same month of Porter's visit, the theater commander ordered SOS 
headquarters back from Cheltenham. He relocated the service chiefs 
in SOS. 36 The fiction of a separate chemical section in Cheltenham 
was thereby dropped, and Rowan officially became Chemical Officer, 
SOS ETOUSA. Neither of these positions fitted the manual definition 
of the chief of service nor did they compare to the positions which 
Fries had held. Rowan, accepting Porter's advice, decided to make 
his position as theater chief chemical officer equivalent to that of chief 
salesman for such services and supplies as the CWS could contribute 
to the war effort in the theater. He found it necessary to employ his 
own prestige and ability to persuade commanders that it was in their 
best interest to be prepared against gas warfare, and to use smoke, 
flame, and chemical mortars. Porter was right in his observation that 
Rowan did not have the usual channels of a theater staff officer; 
Rowan could seldom speak with the authority of the theater com- 
mander as Fries had done. 37 Indeed, he could sometimes not speak with 
the authority of his other and more immediate commander, General 
Lee. Lee, for example did not authorize his chiefs of service to operate 
within his field commands, the base sections, chiefly because base 
section commanders complained that the service chiefs interfered in 
their command procedures. 38 The service chiefs did most of their 
volume business, supply, through the base sections and were therefore 
required to control a part of the operation. Rowan solved this problem 
by using technical channels to base section chemical officers and by 
frequently meeting with these officers to resolve CWS difficulties. 39 

The looseness of control within the theater organization and within 
the SOS which created so many problems for the technical services 
and particularly for the CWS was by no means peculiar to the Euro- 
pean theater. Under the principle of "unity of command" General 
Marshall advocated placing theater and supreme commanders in a 
position of controlling all forces in their area. Probably as an extension 
of this principle he gave the theater and supreme commanders broad 

36 Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, J, 160-6}. 

"Rowan Interv, 28 Sep 58. 

38 Ruppenthal, Logistical Support f J, T68-71, 

M Ltr, Col Ferris U. Foster, USAR, to Hist Off, 13 Oct 59. Colonel Foster was Chemical Officer, 
Southern Base Section, in the United Kingdom. 



discretionary powers. 40 Perhaps as an extension of the delegation con- 
cept or perhaps as simply a reaffirmation of the normal staff and com- 
mand doctrine propounded in the period between the wars, theater 
and subordinate commanders tended to de-emphasize the operating 
and co-ordinating functions that members of their special staffs could 
perform for their own services. Dual exercise of staff and command 
functions, as permitted by regulations, 41 became virtually unknown, 
at least in the CWS. As logical and necessary as was the emphasis on 
command authority and control, it did not make any easier the opera- 
tion and control of a service which fitted neither into staff nor com- 
mand lines. Fries had found it necessary to be a salesman in 1918, but, 
since he controlled CWS staff officers down to the division level, he 
had a better means than Rowan, two decades later, of conducting his 
sales campaign. 42 Rowan perforce substituted liaison between his 
office and the chemical and command elements of the various theater 
commands for control of his chemical subordinates as a means of 
selling chemical warfare munitions and services. 43 

Rowan's problems were many in molding his staff to constant liaison 
with the British, with the ground and air forces, and with the zone 
of interior. In addition he possessed SOS supply and liaison duties which 
would normally have devolved upon a communications zone chemical 
officer. He still lacked officers in sufficient numbers and with sufficient 
rank to handle all liaison and operating duties. 

The April Reorganization 

When General Porter left the theater, Rowan asked him to carry 
back to Washington a list of proposals for less hurried consideration. 

* (1) Forrest C. Pogue, The Supreme Command, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 
(Washington, 1954)* PP* 4 I_ 4 2 * ( 2 ) Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, Strategic Planning for 
Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1953). 
pp. 123-24, 196-97, 262-63. (3) Maurice Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 194}- 
1944, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1959), pp. 102-05. (4) Cline, 
Operations Division, pp. 21-22, 161-62, 184, 293—94. 

* l WD FM 101-y, 19 Aug 40. 

"See above, [chTTI 

**Some CWS officers objected to the point of view that declared "selling" necessary and objected 
to the use of the term selling. These officers believed that the relationship of each CWS special staff 
officer to his commander was the only important relationship so far as the CWS was concerned. It was 
the duty of each special staff officer to suggest the employment of CWS munitions and units to 
his commander when appropriate. No control within the CWS was required, from their point of 
view, as long as technical information could be disseminated through technical channels. (Col Mac- 
Arthur, Comments on draft of this volume, 10 Apr 6r.) 



These proposals related to Rowan's desire to increase the strength and 
prestige of his immediate office in order better to perform both liaison 
and operating functions. Foremost on this list was a request for the 
return of Colonel Johnson from the North African theater or the 
dispatch of a well-qualified lieutenant colonel to head his Supply 
Division. Rowan also asked for four or five majors, high-ranking 
captains, or low-ranking lieutenant colonels with staff experience and 
training* He further asked that Col. James H. Defandorf and an 
officer assistant, who had recently been assigned to his office to work 
on medical liaison and the new, and then secret, work on defense 
against biological warfare, not be charged against his allotment since 
their work was on a special project basis and since he desperately needed 
the spaces. 44 The request for Johnson or a substitute was not intended 
to disparage Major LeRoy whom Rowan later called "my very best 
supply officer," but it was intended to point up the fact that LeRoy 
was still the only field-grade supply officer available and that the 
important supply operation needed more rank and prestige. 45 The 
request for majors, captains, or lieutenant colonels was necessary be- 
cause the CWS needed field-grade officers for staff positions, but the 
space allotment was such that Rowan could not risk taking a full 
colonel or a lieutenant colonel about to be promoted. 46 

Porter's reply to Rowan's requests demonstrates that Rowan did not 
yet realize how weak the ties between the theater CWS and its parent 
service had become with the growing strength of ASF, OPD, and the 
theater organizations. Porter pointed out that the matter of Johnson's 
transfer from the North African to the European theater was out of 
his hands: it could only be handled officially by intertheater request. 
Porter could and did attempt to smooth this process by asking a 
chemical officer in North Africa to intercede in favor of the transfer, 
but nothing came of this attempt. On the matter of Colonel Defan- 
dorf 's status and on that of securing additional staff officers for Rowan, 
Porter's hands were equally tied since the status of officers within the 
theater as well as requests for additional personnel were considered to 
be within the province of the theater commander. Porter agreed to 
evaluate qualifications of officers to be sent upon receipt of the official 

"Memo [Rowan for Porter], n.d., sub: Things for General Porter's Attention Upon His Return 
to the U.S. CWS 3 14.7 Personal Ltr Files. 

"Personal Ltr, Rowan to Gen Waitt, ACCWS for Field Opns, zz Jul 43- 
"Personal Ltr, Rowan to Gen Porter, CCWS, 12 Jul 43. 



request, but even in this there was a strictly limiting factor — officers 
with staff experience were hard to find in 1943. 47 It began to appear 
that the solutions for staffing and prestige problems must be found in 
the European theater. 

In April 1943 Rowan reorganized his own office to reflect the 
expanding responsibilities of the CWS ETO and for better liaison. He 
took the Intelligence Section from the Administration Division and 
made it a division with Maj. Philip R. Tarr, recently promoted, as 
chief. The creation of a new division was no duplication of Colonel 
Zanetti's efforts. Zanetti specialized in strategic intelligence and in- 
telligence liaison with the British and with the continental United 
States while Tarr assumed the growing burden of chemical tactical 
intelligence, which also involved liaison with the British but at a 
different level. The Intelligence Division continued to process attache 
reports for Colonel Zanetti. 48 Lt. Col. Maurice H. Wright, also recently 
promoted, headed a new Supply Liaison Division whose chief function 
was to effect co-ordination between London, where broad supply policy 
was determined in the Operations and Training Division, and Chelten- 
ham, where direction of all requirements and supply operations 
remained. Wright's procurement and reciprocal-aid duties were dele- 
gated to an assistant with the title of branch chief. The Administration 
Division, now headed by Lt. Col. Chester O. Blackburn, included three 
office service branches and one branch to handle personnel for the 
CWS as a whole. The Technical Division, with its important liaison 
functions, was assigned more higher ranking officers than the other 
divisions: Colonel Scott remained as chief; Colonel Defandorf headed 
the Special Projects Branch; Lt. Col. Melville F. Perkins handled liaison 
with Porton, the British chemical research establishment, and the CWS 
Laboratory, for which a chemical laboratory company had not yet 
been received; Lt. Col Thomas H, Magness, Jr., was in charge of 
Offensive Munitions Branch while a captain headed the Defensive 
Munitions Branch. In Operations and Training Branch, Colonel 
MacArthur had a Training Branch headed by a lieutenant colonel, 
who was also his executive officer, an Equipment Branch, and a Plans 
Branch. 49 

47 Personal Ltr, Porter to Rowan, j Jun 43. 

48 (1) History, CWS SOS. (2) Ltr, Col J. Enrique Zanetti, CmlQ USAR (Ret.), to Hist Off, 
16 Jun 60. 

" (1) OCCWO ETO Off Order 5, 22 Apr 43. (2) OCCWO ETO Off Order 7, 12 May 45. 
Both in ETO Admin 544 Cml Warfare. 



LeRoy, now a lieutenant colonel, had 20 officers in his Supply 
Division, but he still lacked field-grade assistants. His Executive 
Officer and Chief, Statistical (requirements and control) Branch, and 
his Operations Branch chief had been promoted to captain along with 
the Transportation and Issue Section chief. The Processing (formerly 
Impregnating) and Training Branches were still one-man branches 
while the Service Branch had a chief and an assistant. One-man 
branches were common in the London office where five branches were 
wholly unstaffed. The London office was assigned 22 officers, three of 
whom were on duty with the Administrative Branch of the Adminis- 
tration Division at Cheltenham. In all, Rowan had 41 officers, 28 
enlisted men, and 16 civilians. 50 While 14 officers had been added since 
the previous fall and while section prestige had increased, mostly 
through promotions, both members and prestige were still low in rela- 
tion to the tremendous expansion in theater activities contemplated 
in the year before the D-day target, which was established in May. 
Rowan had a personal prestige problem in that the other technical 
service chiefs had all been advanced to general officer grade. 

The First Gas Warfare Plan 

An example of the contemplated expansion of theater activities was 
the issuance, also in April 1943, of the first theater gas warfare plan. 
Enough strategic information had become available by that time to 
complete the draft plan of the previous December, The final plan, 
personally signed by General Andrews, called for an eight months' 
supply of aircraft gas munitions and a four months* supply of ground 
gas munitions. The theater requested, in the event of gas warfare, at 
least 2 chemical combat battalions per corps, 40 air chemical service 
and supply units, 30 ground chemical service and supply units plus 
5 smoke generator companies for ground service, and 23 SOS service 
and supply units plus 5 smoke generator companies for the communi- 
cations zone. It also requested 3 base section staffs totaling 9 officers 
and 30 enlisted men, 75 officers and 150 enlisted men for depot admin- 
istration, and an SOS headquarters staff of 93 officers and 339 enlisted 
men. Pointed out in the plan was the fact that the theater was then 

^OCCWO ETO Off Order 5l 22 Apr 4 j. ETO Admin y4 4 Cml Warfare. 



capable only of passive defense and individual protection against gas 
warfare. 51 

The theater and air forces chemical sections modified the plan's 
supply and troop build-up schedule to make it accord with the current 
theater build-up level and the nongas warfare situation. They then 
submitted requisitions against the modified schedule, but while cargo 
flow began to increase, needed supplies, especially toxic munitions, 
were not forthcoming. A month after the submission of the theater 
plan, Maj. Gen. Ira C. Eaker, Commanding General, Eighth Air Force, 
forwarded a strong plea for an interim toxic munitions supply plan. 52 
By the end of July, General Eaker's plan had been approved for muni- 
tions shipment. But long before the approval was received — in fact, 
before the original Eighth Air Force interim ' plan had been dis- 
patched — Rowan had become concerned about War Department slow- 
ness in handling theater requests and particularly about the burden 
placed upon the theater by the necessity of planning and replanning. 
Rowan expounded the theater point of view to General Waitt, Assist- 
ant Chief, CWS, for Field Operations, early in May 1943. He con- 
sidered it to be the function of the War Department "to assist overseas 
Commands, and not to attempt to sit in judgment upon their actions 
and requisitions." He further indicated that he believed the policy 
of requiring theater commanders to disclose detailed plans of con- 
templated operations in justification for requisitions of an unusual 
nature to be an unsound one. 63 Waitt replied that he, personally, 
agreed completely, and he gave assurance that his own office would 
not attempt to "sit in judgment on theater requests or actions." He 
asked only that the theater keep his office well enough informed so 
that the War Department CWS might "go to bat for you." He 
pointed out that the War Department higher echelons had to know 
enough about plans of contemplated operations to act intelligently 
on requests. 54 

The higher echelons which Waitt defended were not always as 
reasonable as he was in considering theater requests. Porter, Waitt, 

n Ltr, CG ETO to TAG, 17 Apr 43, sub: Gas Warfare Plans, ETO. ETO AG 381; also in OPD 
385 CWP. 

83 (1) Ltr, CG Eighth AF to CG ETO, 20 May 43, sub: Eighth AF Preparedness for Offensive Cm] 
Warfare, with 1st Ind, CG ETO to TAG, 9 Jun 43. Eighth AF 353, ETO AG 381 x 475.9 MDGS. 
(2) id Ind, TAG to CG ETO, 30 Jul 43. AG 381 (20 May 43) OB-S-E. 

"Personal Ltr, Rowan to Waitt, 5 May 43. CWS ETO CWO-400/3 2-Sec. 

" Personal Ltr, Waitt to Rowan, 21 Jun 43. CWS SPCVO 016 APO 887. 



and Rowan were satisfied that the CWS in the United States was 
doing everything in its power to assist the theater CWS in meeting its 
obligations as to organization, planning, and supply. 66 Waitt placed 
the blame for delays and for modification of theater plans on ASF. 56 
While approximately ten weeks was not an extraordinary amount of 
time for War Department action on the Eighth Air Force request, this 
request was only one of a stream of Eighth Air Force schedules and 
plans which had followed from the original plan made in April 1942 
when Kellogg 's section was still in the United States. In many other 
cases, such as the projects for continental operations begun in mid- 
1943, the processing delays seemed longer than final results warranted. 
The theater CWS found itself in a frustrating position: the theater 
staff was to plan in detail within the framework of the basic plans laid 
down in Washington because the War Department would not invade 
the theater prerogative by doing detailed planning; but the War 
Department apparently felt no compunctions about redoing the 
theater's detailed planning. A like difficulty existed in organization. 
The prewar theory of theater organization, under which the theater 
commander channeled authority through his technical services chiefs 
as well as his tactical commanders, had been discarded in the ETO 
under War Department pressure so that the planned channels of au- 
thority no longer remained, yet the War Department did not consider 
the provision of a new authority channel as being within its province. 

The June Organization Plan 

In June the ETO SOS chief of administration asked Rowan to 
submit his plans for handling the theater build-up load. Rowan's plan 
reflected his desire to meet both problems. If he could have direct 
control of the theater CWS organization, he wanted enough officers 
of sufficient rank to control it by persuasion. If he must do the plan- 
ning which, according to the manual, should have been done in the 
United States, and if he must perform the operation normally the 
responsibility of the communications zone, he wanted the staff to 
handle planning and operating functions. Rowan replied by submitting 
a comprehensive organizational and functional justification for a staff 
of 100 officers. 

" (1) Porter Interv, 24 Aug 61. (2) Waitt Interv, ij May 61, (3) Rowan Interv, 28 Sep 58. 
86 (1) Waitt Interv, 13 May 61. (2) Waitt Comments on draft of this volume, j Jan 61. 



He asked for a deputy and two assistant chiefs but suggested that 
the position of deputy and one of the assistant chief positions could 
be held by one officer. While MacArthur had in fact been deputy 
since August of 1942, he had in title been Executive Officer and Chief, 
Operations and Training Division. Rowan proposed that he should 
officially be deputy and assistant chief for plans and training. As 
mentioned above, Rowan had become "outside man" for his organiza- 
tion, so that he needed a deputy who could function in his absence. 
He also needed an additional executive officer who would be "inside 
man" and function in his or his deputy's stead when both were absent. 
The second assistant chief was to be the operating supervisor of supply 
and service functions. Since half of Rowan's staff was to be occupied 
with these functions and since this portion of the staff was located at 
Cheltenham, he felt that the position warranted the assignment of a 
general officer. Considering the growth of the technical services within 
the theater and considering that the CWS ETO was destined to become 
fourth ranking among the seven technical services in the operation of 
general storage space and second ranking in the operation of ammuni- 
tion storage and shop space, and further considering that the Chelten- 
ham echelon was charged with the chemical warfare training of about 
375,000 SOS troops, the establishment of an assistant chief position in 
the general-officer grade was not unreasonable. 57 

Since Rowan planned for his deputy to hold the position of assistant 
chief for plans and training, there seems to have been little reason for 
establishment of the second position of assistant chief except the 
psychological factor of acknowledging the unique position of the 
CWS chief as tactical adviser in chemical warfare to the theater 
commander and to all theater forces. A subsidiary reason for estab- 
lishing the second position could have been to parallel the OCCWS 
organization which had recently been revised to provide assistant chiefs 
for materiel and for field operations. 58 In effect, the two assistant 
chiefs in the ETO would perform comparable functions to the two 
in OCCWS. Only one officer, a lieutenant colonel, to act in an 
executive capacity, was to be assigned directly to the assistant chief 
for plans and training. 59 

67 (1) Study, Rowan [to Chief, Admin SOS], Functions and Duties of the OCCWO, 13 and 17 Jun 
43. ETO Admin 545A Cml Warfare. (2) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, p. 128. 
68 Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War, pp. 101-04. 
59 Functions and Duties of the OCCWO. 



Six of the nine divisions proposed were to be organized on the pattern 
already established in the Technical Division — colonels and lieutenant 
colonels would primarily perform liaison and inspection functions 
outside the Office of the Chief Chemical Warfare Officer. These 
divisions were: Technical; Plans and Training; Intelligence; Medical 
Liaison; Supply Liaison and CWS Representative to AC of S, G-5, 
ETOUSA; and SOS Training (at Cheltenham). The liaison divi- 
sions were to contain branches or sections staffed by lower ranking 
officers and enlisted men to perform planning, supervisory, and report- 
ing duties. Colonel Wright had already been appointed CWS repre- 
sentative to ACofS, G-5, ETOUSA, in addition to his duties as Chief, 
Supply Liaison Division. His duty as representative consisted of liaison 
with the Allied forces planning command (Chief of Staff to the Su- 
preme Allied Commander [Designate] COSSAC) . The SOS CWS 
Training Division, to be headed by a major, was to operate under the 
assistant chief for supply. 60 The SOS CWS Training Division was not 
to duplicate the training policy role of the training element in London, 
but was to provide staff supervision for chemical training within SOS. 

Rowan meant for two of the remaining three divisions to handle 
internal administrative functions, but both of these divisions, Admin- 
istration in London and Supply Administration in Cheltenham, were 
also to have advisory roles with respect to the assignment of CWS 
personnel in the theater and in SOS, respectively. Rowan and LeRoy 
redesigned Supply Division to re-emphasize the position that this 
division had always held as an independent CWS supply and service 
agency which LeRoy operated, on a small scale, under Somervell's and 
Lee's principle of centralized control and decentralized operation. 
Supply liaison at levels co-ordinate with and above SOS was to remain 
in Wright's hands in both of his capacities. Liaison at SOS level was 
to be accomplished by the division itself. To supplement the division 
liaison at subordinate levels, Rowan and LeRoy wished to create an 
Inspection Branch headed by a lieutenant colonel who would be a 
troubleshooter for field problems and carry on technical inspection 
of field installations. The pattern of liaison, and indeed the organiza- 
tional plan of the whole division, demonstrated how free a hand the 
CWS had in determining its own supply concepts and procedures. 
The division was to have, and in most cases already had, branches or 

60 Ibid. (2) OCCWO ETO Off Order 8, 20 May 43. ETO Admin 544 Cml Warfare. 



sections to determine requirements, to control materiel, to ordain 
storage, issue, and transportation procedures, and to regulate mainte- 
nance and services such as processing. 61 In sharp contrast to the prac- 
tice in the Pacific areas, policy could originate within the division or 
with the chief chemical warfare officer; higher level direction was 

As far as his own office was concerned, Rowan had already imple- 
mented a part of the organization of the June plan, since that plan 
did not differ greatly in pattern from the reorganization of April. 
Some features of the new plan, such as the official designation of 
Colonel MacArthur as deputy and the appointment of an executive 
officer, were implemented piecemeal. The post of assistant chief chemi- 
cal warfare officer for supply was established, but Rowan could find no 
one to fill it. Several colonels arrived in the theater during 1943, but 
they were either already assigned to the staffs of field organizations or 
were needed in the rapidly proliferating field headquarters. Rowan 
was forced to use captains, majors, and some lieutenant colonels in 
positions he had intended to fill with lieutenant colonels and colonels. 
For liaison and inspection he sometimes sought the assistance of field 
chemical officers. He was still short of manpower. At the end of 1943 
his officer allotment totaled forty-six. In Cheltenham he lost Colonel 
LeRoy who was returned to the United States under a policy of rotating 
officers with field experience. Major Powell, who had filled assignments 
both in Cheltenham and in the SOS depot system, became LeRoy's 
replacement. 62 

The importance of the June plan does not lie in its implementation, 
although it was implemented at about half strength and became the 
basic pattern for the remainder of the war. Its importance lies in the 
fact that its concept and scope demonstrate the changed character 
of the overseas CWS in World War II. It represents the anomaly of 
World War II: the technician and the specialist were taking a back 
seat in the war which was being touted as the technicians' and specialists' 
war. The technician, the specialist, and the logistician, had achieved 
positions of great importance in the warfare of World War I. In the 
period between the wars most CWS technicians, specialists, and logis- 

" Functions and Duties of the OCCWO. 

** (1) History, Sup Div, 42-43. (2) Ltrs, Rowan to Porter and Waitt, iz Jul 43. (3) Ltr, 
Waitt (in ETO) to Col Herrold E. Brooks, Chief, Pers Div OCCWS, 13 Sep 43- CWS 3M-7 Pers 
Files, ETO. (4) Ltr, Col Ernest Greene, USAR, to Hist Off, 11 Jan 60. 



ticians had been led to believe that they would work with bureaulike 
unity. Strategy, plans, materiel, and personnel would emanate from 
OCCWS to be translated into the theater commander's policy by the 
theater chief chemical officer who would supervise execution at sub- 
ordinate levels. More than a year's experience in the theater proved 
that the interposition of theater headquarters, OPD, and ASF between 
the theater CWS and OCCWS prevented OCCWS from accomplishing 
its planned direction. Theater emphasis on the discretion of the in- 
dividual commander, plus the organizational setup, in effect demoted 
the special staff officer to the role of supply administrator whose control 
even in the supply field depended on his ability to institute and main- 
tain decentralizing procedures. In the supply role Rowan and his staff 
fared very well despite the failure to acquire the personnel specified in 
the June plan. In the liaison role the failure to acquire the staff and 
rank indicated in the June plan threw the entire burden on Rowan 
and a few members of his staff. The Technical Division very success- 
fully maintained liaison with the British in the research and develop- 
ment areas. 68 CWS officials also found the British very helpful in 
arranging reverse lend-lease for service and supply, areas in which 
Rowan and many members of his staff performed liaison. 64 In matters 
of policy, liaison with the British was excellent since Rowan was 
Porter's representative to the British policy group, the Inter-Service 
Chemical Warfare Committee. 66 It was in liaison with the American 
ground forces that difficulties arose. So small a staff with such varied 
duties could not maintain a regular ground forces liaison program. The 
partial solution for this problem was to emerge later during operations 
on the Continent. 

Planning and Organization: 1944-45 

By the end of 1943 the build-up in the ETO had reached a furious 
pace. All the CWS ETO supply installations and sections in the United 
Kingdom were firmly established and supplies, even the long-awaited 
toxic munitions, were coming in. In the SOS the base sections, the 
ports of debarkation, and selected general depots had working-strength 
chemical sections, and scarce chemical service units or detachments 

•"interv, Hist Off with Col Thomas H. Magness, Jr., 5 May 59. 
64 Ltr, Gen Rowan to Hist Off, 8 Jul 60. 
"Rowan Interv, 16 Sep 58. 



were attached where necessary for operation. Arriving ground force 
organizations usually brought their own chemical sections. 

Staff and Organization Changes 

Many staff changes were made — some the result of organization and 
unit activations and some arising from a desire to have officers with 
theater experience in the United States. As noted above, Colonel 
LeRoy had for the latter reason returned to the United States in the 
fall of 1943. Colonel Kellogg had returned to the United States in 
July 1943 and his position as Chemical Officer, Eighth Air Force, had 
been assumed by Col. Harold J. Baum who subsequently became Chemi- 
cal Officer, United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSTAF) . e8 
One lieutenant colonel from Rowan's London staff also returned to the 
United States, while Colonel Blackburn left the Administration Divi- 
sion to become Chemical Officer, Ground Forces Replacement Com- 
mand, in the theater, 67 Three field-grade officers arrived from the 
United States for duty in the London office. 68 

With the organization of several ground commands late in 1943, 
the build-up reached the point where defensive gas warfare planning 
for specific forces had to be undertaken with a probable cross-Channel 
mission in mind. The requirements portion of such specific planning 
depended upon the ground forces elements themselves, but Rowan's 
staff would be called on to co-ordinate planning and, more importantly, 
to translate plans and estimates into actual supply. The fact that 
supply lead time was running at about 180 days impressed Rowan's 
staff with the necessity of anticipating the requirements of ground 
forces planners as far ahead as possible. Just before leaving for an 
extensive briefing and conference tour in the United States late in 
December 1943, Rowan designated a transitional Planning Group 
within the Operations and Training Division to work under the direct 
supervision of the deputy chief chemical warfare officer, Colonel 
MacArthur. This group was, in addition to its planning duties, to 
absorb the functions of the Supply Liaison Division. 60 A few days 
later, MacArthur, acting chief chemical warfare officer, brought about 

m History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. 

97 Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col Chester O. Blackburn, CmlC, USAR (Ret.), ji Sep 59. 
68 Interv, Hist Off with Col Alexander Leggin, USAR, 13 Oct 61. Leggin served as Rowan's 
executive officer during this period. 

w OCCWO ETO Off Order n, it Dec 43. ETO Admin 544 Cml Warfare, 






















Servi < 







a to 



O t5 



t c 

O D 

"2 « 









5 < 

ijef of 




<= 1— 


























a realignment of the theater office. | (Chart 4^ The Planning Group 
became the Planning Division under Lt. CoL Albert C. Bilicke, with 
Maj. Arthur T. Hingle, who was moved up from Cheltenham, and 
another field-grade officer as his principal assistants. This division was 
given the task of determining broad troop and supply requirements for 
future operations. The parent Operations and Training Division had 
like responsibilities for current operations as well as for training super- 



The other divisions remained as indicated in the modified plan of 
June 1943, but a sign of the times was the appointment of Maj. 
Alexander Leggin, Executive Officer, OCCWO, ETO, to the added 
role of liaison officer to First United States Army Group (FUSAG). 
Leggin *s verbal instructions were to initiate the formation of a chemical 
section and to start chemical planning for FUSAG, then organizing 
in the United Kingdom as the principal American ground forces head- 
quarters. 71 Also, Maj. William Foley came from the American School 
Center to Cheltenham to head an SOS Training and Equipment Section, 
an upgrading of the Training Branch, Supply Division. 72 By the end 
of January it had become apparent that the Operations and Training 
Division could not handle all the detailed transactions concerning 
troops. A new Personnel Division was therefore established, and to it 
were assigned the personnel records functions of Administration 
Division. 73 

The Personnel Division had a number of individual changes to 
record. CoL Marshall Stubbs in January had moved from Ninth Air 
Force to establish the chemical section for and become the deputy 
assistant chief of staff, G-4, of Advance Section, Communications 
Zone (ADSEC), the mobile base section scheduled to operate directly 
behind the combat forces. ADSEC, as an important distribution 
agency and link between combat and SOS forces, was of considerable 
interest to the CWS ETO. The ability to discover ground forces 
chemical supply requirements and to meet them could well depend 
on the successful operation of the ADSEC Chemical Section. Maj. 
Ingalls S. Bradley of Supply Division soon joined Stubbs as his 

"OCCWO ETO Otf Order 23, 4 Jan 44. ETO Admin $44 Cml Warfare. 

71 (1) OCCWO ETO Otf Order 21, 4 Jan 44. ETO Admin J44 c *nl Warfare. (2) Leggin 
Interv, 13 Oct 6t. 

"OCCVO ETO Otf Order 23, 4 Jan 44. ETO Admin 544 Cml Warfare. 
"OCCWO ETO Otf Orders 25 and i6 t 1 j Jan 44. ETO Admin 544 Cml Warfare. 



assistant. 7 * Leggin left his executive officer post in February formally 
to activate the FUSAG Chemical Section. 75 In March, after Rowan's 
return from the United States, MacArthur became FUSAG chemical 
officer with Leggin serving as his deputy. Col. Alfred C. Day, a 
Reserve officer and veteran of World War Ys ist Gas Regiment, who 
had been on temporary duty as chemical officer of the assault and 
amphibious training center in England, became Rowan's deputy. 76 
Col. Roy C. Charron, another Reserve officer with World War I 
experience, arrived from the United States to assume, after briefly 
filling the long-vacant position of assistant chief at Cheltenham, the 
post of Chemical Officer, Forward Echelon, Communications Zone 
(FECOM2) . The Forward Echelon was essentially a planning head- 
quarters, a smaller version of SOS itself, which was to plan for and 
provide logistical support to the combat forces on the Continent from 
D-day plus 41 to D plus 90 when the main headquarters of SOS, 
renamed Communications Zone (COMZ), was expected to be in 
operation on the Continent. 77 The CWS SOS--COMZ complement was 
filled in May by the arrival of Col. Hubert B. Bramlet, a Regular Army 
officer who had been commissioned in the CWS during World War I, 
to fill the position of assistant chief at Cheltenham. 78 \(Chart 5) 

The change in staff assignments and the addition of the ADSEC 
and FECOMZ Chemical Sections enabled the CWS ETO to operate 
more effectively within the theater. Officers entirely familiar with the 
theater CWS system, such as MacArthur, were now in key positions 
while the new chemical sections were created in new organizations 
designed within the theater to serve theater purposes. These organiza- 
tions therefore had channels of communication, authority, and opera- 
tions specially suited to theater needs. Thus FECOMZ was a planning 
headquarters with "built-in" liaison to the parent SOS. 79 ADSEC was 

"Biographical Sketch, CMLHO: Maj Gen Marshall Stubbs. Thirty-seven years old at the time 
of his appointment, Stubbs was a Regular Army officer and a Military Academy graduate. Of the 
prominent chemical officers in the European theater, he was the first who was too young to have Had 
World War I experience. (2) Opns History of ADSEC COMZ ETOUSA, Oct 43-10 Jul 45 (here- 
after cited as History» ADSEC) . 

w OCCWO ETO Off Order 28, 16 Feb 44. ETO Admin 544 Cml Warfare. 

n OCCWO ETO Off Order 33. *3 Mar 44. ETO Admin H4 Cml Warfare. 

77 (1) History, FECOMZ ETOUSA, From Inception to Termination (9 Feb to 7 Aug 44) (here- 
after cited as History, FECOMZ). ETO Admin 136. (2) Personal Ltrs, Col Charron to Waitt, 2 Feb, 
19 Mar 44. CWS 314.7 Pers Files, ETO, Feb 44-Dec 44. 

M OCCWO ETO Off Order 42, 30 May 44. ETO Admin 544 Cml Warfare. 

"History, FECOMZ. 

Chart 5 — Actual Distribution of Service Agencies and Combat Units 
Chemical Warfare Service, European Theater of Operations, 1944-1945 





Chemical Adviser 
to G-3, SHAEF* 

Royal Air Force 
Bomber Command 

First Allied 
Airborne Army 

Allied Naval 
Commander in Chief [ 
Expeditionary Force 

Northern Group 

of Armies 
[21 Army Group) 

U.S. Srratesie Air 
Forces in Europe* 

Deputy Commanding 
General for 
Commanding General 
Air Service Command 

Allied Expeditionary 
Air Farces' 

American Component 

Chemical Officer 

Chemical Officer 

Chemical Companies 
Air Operations 

Chemical Depot 
Companies, Aviario 

Cham real 
Companies, Aviation 

Ei 3 hth 
U S Air Force 

Chemical Officer 

Bombard men I 

Chemical Offio 


I Chemical Officer 



Second Taclical 
Air Force 

Air Defence 
• • ^"1 Great Britain 

U S Air Force 

Chemical Officer 


Chemical Officer 


| Chemical Officer | 

Tactical Air 

| Chemical Officers j 



| chemical Officer J 

Chemical Companies 
Air Operations 

^_ Chemicol Depot 
Companies, Aviation 

Companies, Aviation 

U.S. Air Fore 

Central Group 
of Armies 
(12th Army Group) c 

Southern Group 
of Armies 
(6th Army Group) d 

U.S. Army 


Adviser to G-3 

European Theater 
of Operations 
U.S. Army (ETOUSA) 

French Army 

U.S. Army 

-| Divisions | . 

Chemicol Officer 

| Chemical Officers | ' 

| Corps | . 

U.S. Army 

| Chemical OffkeT 

il Offio 

I | Chemical Officers | 

Chemical Officers 


Divisions !•••*•• | 

[Chemical Officers"| | 

U.S. Army 

Chemical Smoke 
(" — Generator Battalions 
and Companies 

| Chemicol Offlc^ 


■ [ Divisions "[ "■«" 
I Chemical Officers I 

Chemical Technical 
Intelligence Teams 

Mortar Battalions 
and Companies 



Chemical Depot 

Communications Zone 

Chemical Officer 



| Chemical Officer! | 


| Chemicol Officers j 

Depot and Base 

Chemical Smoke 
Generator Battalion 
and Companies 


Chemical Processing 



a. Portion abolished, October 1944. 

fc. January 1944 rtcwganiiotion. Allied Expeditionary Air Form aboliihed 1 5 Oct +4. 

e. First and Ninth Armies attached to the Northern Group For periods in Fifteenth Army added to 12th Army Group in 1945 Chemical Officer, 1 Sth Army Group, conducted 

lioiion with chemical officer (Briliih), St Army Group. 
o\ At of December 1944. 

Theater and Coram unicati on > Zone (then Service! of Supply) Headquarteri combined, Jnnuory 1944. 
/. Bow Air Depot Am lupporled Eighth and Ninth Air Force Service Commands m nnt functional areas. 
W. Fifteenth Air Force under USSTAF operational control. Under admin iitrative control Mediterranean Allied Air Force*. 

Source: Pogue, Supreme Command, pp. ISO, «6tf, 370, 42fl, 455, Ruppenlhal, Loeinieol Support ol the Anrney Vol. I, p. 199; Craven and Cole. Europe — TORCH to POINTBLANK , pp 745, 
753, 839; Craven and Cote, Europe— ARGUMENT to V-E Day, pp. 111, 398, 576, 



a planning headquarters with "built-in" liaison to First Army (FUSA) 
and Third Army (TUSA), whose basic logistics planning it was 
handling and extending, as well as to SOS-COMZ, of which it was 
an organizational subordinate echelon. 80 The ground forces-CWS 
ties were therefore good. 

First Army, whose chemical section was headed by Col. Joseph D. 
Coughlan, was to direct all American operations on the Continent 
in the beachhead period. FUSAG co-ordinated all ground planning, 
and a successor army group headquarters, as yet unannounced, was 
to take over control of First Army and Third Army when the "secret" 
Third became operational. Third Army chemical officer was Col. 
Edward C. Wallington. 81 

Air Forces liaison was more tenuous. Air Forces officers, probably 
as part of their bidding for a status independent of the Army, took 
the position that the theater and SOS headquarters had a ground forces 
jurisdiction only, even in logistics matters. Since Rowan and his 
staff were firmly identified with theater and SOS headquarters, they 
were doubly handicapped in approaching the Air Forces. The CWS 
situation in the Air Forces became worse when USSTAF combined 
its Ordnance and Chemical Sections under the ordnance officer, but 
Colonel Baum in USSTAF, Col. Joseph Triner, chemical officer in the 
Ninth Air Force, and Maj. Leonard C. Miller of Allied Expeditionary 
Air Forces (AEAF) managed to keep Rowan informed of their more 
important plans through their personal channels to the chief chemical 
warfare officer and his assistants. 82 After January 1944 the planning 
channel for the Air Forces was through the Supreme Headquarters, 
Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), rather than through theater 
headquarters. In January theater and SOS headquarters were combined 
with the staff serving in a dual capacity. While General Lee became 
deputy theater commander, the staff carefully defined their theater 
functions which they performed in General Eisenhower's name and 
their SOS functions which they carried out in General Lee's. Despite 
the careful definition, the activation of other operational and planning 
commands restricted the combined headquarters to administrative and 

80 History, ADSEC. 

81 Biographical Sketches, CMLHO. Coughlan and Wallington were senior Regular Army CVS 
officers. Both were graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, Class of 191J. 

82 (1) Interv, Hist Off with Col Leonard C. Miller, 2 Feb 60. (2) Rowan Interv, 26 Sep 58. (3) 
Rowan Comments 16 Dec 60. 



supply matters and ultimately resulted in the predominance of logistic 
function. 83 

In March Col. Adrian St. John arrived in the theater and be- 
came the chemical representative on the SHAEF staff. Although 
Colonel Wright, as liaison officer to COSSAC, the SHAEF predecessor, 
had been on Rowan's staff, Colonel St. John did not report to Rowan. 
The air forces chemical officers co-ordinated their gas warfare planning 
with St. John. Organizational confusion resulted. 84 Even General 
Porter believed that Rowan was no longer the principal chemical officer 
in the theater. He was under the impression that St. John, who was at 
the time senior to Rowan, had been appointed "Chief Chemical Officer, 
SHAEF," and he asked Brig. Gen. Augustin M. Prentiss, who was on 
an observer mission to the theater, to indicate proper communications 
channels. 85 Prentiss replied that the confusion in the United States 
was understandable since many individuals in the theater were also 
confused, but he affirmed Rowan's position as theater chief of service, 
and St. John's as chemical adviser to G-3, SHAEF, and indicated that 
communications should be channeled through Rowan. 86 Rowan's 
status became more clearly defined upon his advancement to brigadier 
general on 25 May 1944. 

During the three months of his European duty before the continental 
invasion, St. John assumed some of the gas warfare readiness planning 
responsibilities as appropriate to his assignment to the highest planning 
headquarters. He approved and staffed air forces operational readiness 
plans which included stocking toxics available for immediate retaliatory 
missions at operational airfields. He also secured the issuance of a 
SHAEF directive which required all commanders to make both offen- 
sive and defensive plans. Again, Porter was apparently under the im- 
pression that this directive had greater significance than it actually 
did. 87 The SHAEF directive was in fact only a slightly stronger 
restatement of a number of theater directives which had preceded it, 

n Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, 7, 195-201. 

"SHAEF had special staff divisions in only three technical services areas, Signal, Engineer, and 
Medical. These were all combined staff branches whose roles outside their own headquarters were like 
those of inspectors general; they did not perform the functions of theater sections or services (Pogue, 
Supreme Command, pages 91-93). St. John was not in a special staff position. He was originally as- 
signed as chemical adviser to G— 4, SHAEF, and was shortly thereafter transferred to G— 3 with the same 
title since little of his work had to do with logistics. (Personal Ltr, St. John to Porter, 28 Mar 44). 

m Personal Ltr, Porter to Prentiss, 22 Mar 44. 

"Personal Ltr, Prentiss to Porter, 14 Apr 44. 

w Ltr, Porter to Prentiss, 22 Mar 44. 



and the real key to readiness lay in the supply planning which was 
being handled by Rowan's office, the air forces chemical sections, and 
the chemical sections in FECOMZ, ADSEC, FUSAG, FUSA, and 

The liaison method of planning and the organizational confusion 
in the theater made chemical planning difficult at times and occasionally 
resulted in personal differences which normally occur in any organiza- 
tion, but both Rowan and St. John could informally handle problems 
as they arose. One problem was that Coughlan was reluctant to submit 
to direction and co-ordination by the FUSAG Chemical Section or by 
Rowan's staff, St. John managed to bring this matter to the attention 
of the FUSAG commander and planning co-ordination thereupon 
became effective. On the whole, both planning and actual preparations 
in the field proceeded apace. 88 

When Porter indicated to Prentiss that, according to the reports, 
unspecified, which he had received, something was amiss in ETO 
chemical activities Prentiss replied that he could find nothing wrong. 
Plans were complete, the staff was competent, the supply situation, 
at least for immediate needs, was good, and the chemical officers 
seemed to enjoy the confidence of higher authority. 89 In fact, Rowan 
felt that he had done precisely as Porter had recommended — he had 
"sold" his services to the theater forces. 

General Porter got the same impression that Prentiss did when he 
arrived in the European theater shortly before the cross-Channel attack. 
He inspected gas warfare readiness in both ground and service com- 
mands. He found no reluctance to acknowledge Rowan as the theater 
chief chemical officer and he found theater forces well prepared, from 
a CWS point of view, for the operation they were about to undertake. 90 

On the Continent 

American commanders and staff officers knew that the assault on 
the Normandy beaches provided the enemy with an ideal opportunity 
to inaugurate gas warfare. General Omar N. Bradley, then First Army 
commander and principal United States ground commander for the 
assault, later wrote that "even a light sprinkling of persistent gas on 

88 (i) I. egg in Interv, 13 Oct 61. (2) Mac Arthur Interv, 19 Sep 61. (3) Interv, Hist Off with 
Col Maurice H. Wright, USAR (Ret.), 10 Jul 61. 
88 Prentiss to Porter, 14 Apr 44. 
"Porter Interv, 24 Aug 61. 



Omaha Beach could have cost us our footing there." 01 American 
intelligence experts believed that the German forces had the logistic 
capability to launch a gas attack although it was a comfort to know 
that their lack of aerial superiority made it unlikely that such an 
attack could be launched by aircraft. Ail assault forces wore antigas 
protective clothing and carried gas masks and other protective 
articles. While the adequacy of such protection was assured against 
known gases in a situation in which warning could be given, the danger 
of a high casualty rate was great in the event of surprise attack or the 
introduction of an unknown gas. Further, the adequacy of the warning, 
service, and retaliatory offensive systems could only be estimated. 

First Army requested 3 chemical mortar battalions for retaliation 
and 4 chemical service companies to meet possible gas warfare. The 
3 battalions, 1 chemical depot company, 1 chemical maintenance com- 
pany, 1 smoke generator battalion headquarters and 4 companies, and 
1 small detachment from a chemical laboratory company were assigned 
or attached to FUSA and scheduled for the assault echelons. The 
laboratory detachment and 3 chemical decontamination companies 
assigned to engineer special brigades joined the earliest assault waves 
with the mission of determining if gas was being used. These units 
were to identify the gas and take immediate protective measures. 92 

The first chemical staff sections ashore in Normandy were those in 
the headquarters of the engineer special brigades, the V and VII Corps, 
and the 1st, 29th, 4th, and 30th Divisions. Three officers of FUSA 
Chemical Section landed on 9 June, three days after D-day. They 
found the chemical supply situation adequate and the 30th Chemical 
Decontamination Company ready to provide artificial smoke protec- 
tion if needed. The fear of enemy gas attack was still lively as demon- 
strated by several "gas scares," reports that the enemy had employed 
war gases. All such reports proved false. 03 

Since First Army was responsible for all logistics arrangements on 
the Continent in the early period, the first job was to establish dumps, 
especially dumps at which the chemical mortar battalions could draw 
ammunition. The initial supply of several chemical items, including 

91 General Omar N. Bradley, A Soldier's Story (New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 19J1), 
p. 279- 

M (i) FUSA Rpt of Opns, 10 Oct 43-1 Aug 44, an. 17, Cml Warfare Sec. (1) Ian F. Fraser, 
Clifford L, Jones, and Hugh Williamson, Opn Rpt Neptune, 30 Sep 44, pp. 38-39, 116. In CMLHO. 
M FUSA Rpt of Opns, 20 Occ 43-1 Aug 44, an. 17. 



ammunition, was being expended faster than anticipated. The FUSA 
Chemical Section and the assigned chemical service units handled these 
problems. Officers of the ADSEC Chemical Section, who had arrived 
a day after Coughlan and his assistants, assisted the FUSA section in 
these tasks. 04 

The ADSEC Chemical Section gradually assumed direction of the 
distribution functions in the areas nearest the beaches. The FUSA 
Chemical Section retained its direct interest in all chemical supply 
since FUSA did not relinquish supply control to ADSEC. 05 During 
July the FECOMZ, TUSA, and 12th Army Group Chemical Sections 
were established on the Continent as the headquarters of which they 
were part became established. FECOMZ never assumed operating re- 
sponsibility and the members of its chemical section, like those of Third 
Army and 12th Army Group, acted as observers and reporters on the 
combat, supply, and service situations until early August when the 
main COMZ (formerly SOS) headquarters began to arrive and 
absorb FECOMZ. Members of the chemical section then assumed 
their planned operating roles. Third Army and 12th Army Group 
became operational on 1 August 1944 and MacArthur's chemical sec- 
tion became the senior chemical policy organization on the Continent 
pending the arrival of the remainder of Rowan's office. 96 

Rowan, Day, and St. John visited on the Continent during the 
beachhead and breakout period (June-August 1944), as did General 
Porter. 07 They found little evidence of any enemy intention to initiate 
gas warfare, but, as insurance the CWS sections and units ashore were 
striving to increase and improve the level of gas warfare protection 
by collecting and refurbishing discarded gas masks, by distributing 
decontaminating equipment and supplies, and by setting up antigas 
clothing processing plants. The chemical mortar battalions were fully 
occupied and highly prized in their nongas warfare role, an intended 
one, of firing high explosive and smoke missions in direct combat 
support of the infantry. Artificial smoke, other than that produced 

M Informal Comments of CWS Officer [Maj Hingle to Col Charron, CmlO FECOMZ], 20 Jun 44. 
CWS 314.7 Vers Files, ETO. 

05 (1) FUSA Rpt of Opns, 20 Oct 43-1 Aug 44, an. 17. (2) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, 

oa (1) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, 4$6-yy. (2) MacArthur Interv, 19 Sep €1. (3) TUSA 
AAR, 1 Aug 44—9 May 45, vol. II, CWS Sec. (4) 12th Army Group Rpt of Opns, vol. XI, Cml War- 
fare Sec, pp. 104-33. 

67 OCCWO COMZ ETO, Daily Journal, Jul and Aug 44. ETO Admin 467. 



by white phosphorus shell, had not been used in expected quantities, 
and expensive fog oil, the smoke agent used in mechanical smoke 
generators, was being used to oil emergency aircraft landing strips. 
The smoke generator units were used as service units. The chemical 
supply situation was satisfactory at the moment, but Rowan and 
St. John predicted growing supply problems as the mortar battalions 
became more extensively used and the distribution area for smoke, 
flame, and gas warfare supplies became larger. From Rowan's point 
of view the most immediate problem was the supply and allotment 
of CWS officers and enlisted men, particularly those for the chemical 
mortar battalions* 98 

While Rowan had organized a Personnel Division and expanded it 
into a Personnel and Troops Division, he did not control the assign- 
ment of CWS-trained men. All assignments in the European theater 
were made under the supervision of the ETO SOS assistant chief of 
staff, G-i, by the theater adjutant general or a command adjutant 
general or by the Ground Forces Reinforcement System. The assigning 
agency commonly considered all CWS officers and men as service troops 
and indiscriminately assigned individuals to any CWS vacancy. While 
such indiscriminate assignment produced some problems in service 
units, such as the assignment of decontamination specialists to mainte- 
nance units, the real difficulty arose in connection with CWS combat 
assignment. Mortar battalion commanders found they were receiving 
service specialists or clerks while CWS-trained combat soldiers were 
assigned to service units. Chemical mortar battalion commanders con- 
sequently requested infantry- or artillery-trained men in preference 
to those trained by the CWS. It was easier to retrain men who could 
be counted upon to have received basic combat training than it was 
to retrain CWS men who had no combat training at all." 

Rowan immediately began to tackle this problem both from the 
field end and from the theater staff end until he persuaded the theater 
adjutant general to consult the CWS in the allotment of both men 
and units. While it was still necessary to work through the theater 

98 (i) St. John to Porter, Rpt for CCWS, 28 Jun 44. CWS 314.7 Pers Ltr Files, ETO. (2) Personal 
Ltr, Rowan to Waitt, 2 Sep 44, inclosing Memo, Rowan, no addressee, 26 Aug 44, sub: Notes on Trip 
to Far Shore. (3) MacArthur Interv, 19 Sep 61. (4) Leggin Interv, 13 Oct 61. (y) Wright 
Interv, 12 Jul 61. 

w (i) History of Pers and Troops Div OCCWO COM2 ETO, D Day to V-E Day {hereafter cited 
as History, Pers and Troops Div). ETO Admin 54jA. (2) Rowan Interv, 28 Sep y8* (3) Waitt 
Comments, 5 Jan 61. 



system, and while the preference of individual commanders could still 
outweigh OCCWO planning, this concession gave Rowan a much 
larger hand in the solution. Rowan and his subordinates were there- 
after able to correct many inequities in chemical assignments. 100 

On moving to the Continent in September, Rowan began consoli- 
dating his offices. FECOMZ, its operational period having been cur- 
tailed on the one end by the extension of First Army's control and on 
the other by the early arrival on the Continent of the main echelon, 
was absorbed into the COMZ headquarters. Little change was made 
in the theater chemical section organization when the section was 
established in Paris. The Supply Division carried on its day and night 
job much as it had in Cheltenham. The Technical Division remained 
in the United Kingdom with a liaison section in Paris. Colonel Bramlet 
remained in England to become Chemical Officer, United Kingdom 
Base Section, which was in fact a rear echelon of COMZ. The one 
significant change was the recombination, just after the arrival in 
Paris, of the Planning and the Operations and Training Divisions into 
a Planning and Training Division. Since there were no gas warfare 
operations, the concept of an Operations and Training Division as a 
successor to General Fries' "military" offensive and defensive divisions 
faded completely, and toward the end of the war the division devoted 
itself to demobilization and redeployment planning. 101 Since Colonel 
St. John had also primarily been employed in planning, his position 
was abolished in the fall of 1944. He, too, turned to demobilization 
work, mostly outside the CWS sphere. 102 

Rowan gave much of his personal attention to the problems of 
operating in a nongas warfare situation. The chemical mortar bat- 
talions were in considerable demand for close infantry support from 
the time of their debut on the Continent, but since their extensive 
use in a nonchemical role had not been envisioned before the war, 
there was no well-established body of doctrine relating to their employ- 
ment. In the resultant controversy over infantry or artillery fire 

100 (1) History, Pers and Troops Div. (2) Personal Ltr, Rowan to Waitt, 1 Sep 44. (3) Personal 
Ltr, St. John to Waitt, 1 Sep 44. 

101 (1) CWS History, 1 Jan 44 to "D Day." (2) History of the Administrative Div OCCWO, 
D Day to V-E Day, Hq COMZ ETOUSA. Both in ETO Admin 5 45 A. (3) History of Sup Div 
OCCWO Hq ETOUSA, D Day to V-E Day (hereafter cited as History, Sup Div, II.) ETO Admin 
544. (4) History of CWS Plans and Tng Div in the ETO, 6 Jun 44 to 9 May 45. (y) History of 
the Tech Div CWS Hq ETOUSA, 6 Jun 44-9 May 45. Both in ETO Admin 54 jB. 

Personal Ltr, St. John to Col Elliott, DCCWS, 22 Nov 44. 



direction, Rowan aligned himself firmly with the proponents of 
infantry control. 103 Lacking the means to establish doctrine as a repre- 
sentative of the theater commander, Rowan chose to visit combat 
commanders to persuade them to use attached chemical mortar bat- 
talion elements under infantry control. Though he was sometimes 
frustrated in this attempt, Rowan usually found personal persuasion 
effective. 104 

The theater chief chemical officer also used personal persuasion in 
an attempt to secure the proper employment of smoke generator units. 
Since many commanders were unaware of the new techniques in use 
of smoke which had been developed in the Mediterranean theater, 
they were unprepared and unwilling to initiate the employment of 
smoke. As a result, many smoke generator troops made their way 
across France engaged in such miscellaneous activities as service and 
transportation troops. General Rowan tried to persuade field com- 
manders to maintain the integrity of these units, to keep up their 
equipment and to employ them on their primary mission wherever 
possible. Smoke came into great demand for concealment in Germany 
when the river-crossing operations began. At that time many smoke 
units were recalled to their primary mission, but re-equipping and re- 
training was no easy task. Some units and their equipment had been 
so dispersed that they were never called back to their primary mission. 105 

Rowan's activities on the Continent, such as those in connection 
with the mortar battalions and the smoke generator units, raise the 
question of the proper role, in the absence of gas warfare, of the 
Chemical Warfare Service and of the various staff chemical officers. 
Neither Porter nor Rowan felt that the absence of gas warfare signifi- 
cantly altered the basic mission of the CWS or of CWS staff officers. 
Both believed that Fries 's concept of a service in which "research was 
linked with the closest possible ties to the firing line" still applied. 106 
Although toxics had not been used and although the likelihood of 
their use became more remote with each succeeding month of the war, 
there was always the possibility that the Germans might use gas to cap 
the offensive which had created the "bulge" in the Ardennes, or to 
prevent the crossing of the Rhine, or in last-ditch defense of the 

10B See below, |ch. XIlT| 

104 Rowan Interv, 28 Sep 58. (2) Rowan Comments, 16 Dec 60. 

105 (1) Rowan Interv, 28 Sep 58. (2) Rowan Comments, 16 Dec 60. 
ld * Fries and West, Chemical Warfarej p. 73. 



homeland. 107 These possibilities were sufficiently real so that European 
theater forces had to be at least prepared to wage gas warfare. Pre- 
paredness meant that gas masks and protective clothing must be 
available for all troops in potential danger zones, that decontamination 
equipment and supplies must be available, that gas alarms and detection 
devices must be in the hands of line units or ready for issue and that 
gas defensive training for all troops must not be neglected. Further- 
more, preparedness meant that chemical intelligence information must 
be gathered and interpreted, that chemical advisers and service and 
combat troops must be ready to begin offensive or defensive operations 
or both with very short notice. And there was yet another threat — the 
threat of biological warfare. The gas warfare defensive system would 
serve for defense against biological warfare, but CWS officers had to 
be acquainted with the latest developments so that should such warfare 
be initiated, they could recognize it, furnish needed advice, and take 
proper defensive measures. Retaliation in this field was out of the 
question since the CWS had no biological munitions. 108 Preparedness 
was no small task. But preparedness was only the first of the CWS 
tasks. There were also the tasks connected with the nongas warfare 
operations of the chemical mortar battalions, with the supply and field 
employment of artificial smoke, and with the supply and training for 
incendiary and flame weapons employment. 

Rowan had to reconsider, once the pattern of operations on the 
Continent was apparent, how to accomplish the CWS tasks. Since his 
own office operated a CWS supply system, he only had to see that his 
Supply Division was operating and secure the co-operation of the base 
sections in distribution and of the combat elements in stating require- 
ments. The contacts with the base sections were maintained, as in 
England, through the base section chemical officers who kept in in- 
formal touch with his office. 109 The base section chemical officers also 

107 (i) Rowan Interv, 28 Sep j8. (2) Porter Interv, 24 Aug €1, (3) Waitt Interv, 13 May €1. 
(4) Interv, Hist Off with Col Kenneth A. Cunin, 5 Dec 45. 
108 See Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane* From Laboratory to Field, pp. 16 1— 22T] 

1W Information on the base sections is drawn from: (1) Wright Interv, 16 Jul 61 (Colonel Wright 
was Chemical Officer, Loire Base Section); (2) Intervs, Hist Off with Col Christian O. Christensen, 
USAR (Ret.), r3, 23 Oct 61 (Colonel Christensen was Chemical Officer, Oise Base Section); (3) Ltr, 
Col Greene to Hist Off, 21 Jan 60 (Colonel Greene was Chemical Officer, Brittany Base Section and 
Seine Base Section) : (4) Ltr, Col Hubert B. Bramlet, USA (Ret.), to Hist Off, 6 Oct 59 (Colonel 
Bramlet was Chemical Officer, United Kingdom Base Section); (j) Ltr, Col Ferris U. Foster, AUS 
(Ret.), to Hist Off, 13 Oct 59 (Colonel Foster was Chemical Officer, Southern Base Section in England 
and subsequently assigned to United Kingdom Base Section). 


maintained informal liaison with each other and with combat organiza- 
tion chemical officers. Base section chemical officers operated under 
their own command, but most of them asserted some independence in 
chemical supply matters. They were usually able to arrange transpor- 
tation as they saw fit, and they supervised the activities of chemical 
service units in their areas. Problems were handled directly with 
Rowan's office — usually by telephone. 

The supply and service aspects of preparedness thus taken care of, 
Rowan could devote most of his time to his duties as "roving ambassa- 
dor." He or Day frequently talked to MacArthur and his successor, 
Col. Patrick F. Powers, or their deputy, Leggin, in the 12th Army 
Group Chemical Section. 110 These officers regularly, both officially 
and informally, saw and corresponded with the xhemical officers of 
First, Third, and Ninth Armies, and they occasionally heard from 
Col. Benjamin F. Mattingly, chemical adviser to G-3, 6th Army 
Group, and from the chemical officer of Seventh Army. The 12th 
Army Group Chemical Section also maintained liaison with the British 
21 Army Group Chemical Section as long as General Sir Bernard L< 
Montgomery, 21 Army Group commander, was also Allied land com- 
mander. In September 1944, 12th Army Group was transferred to the 
direct control of SHAEF, and the chemical officers continued, as they 
had throughout the planning and early continental period, to corre- 
spond with St. John. 111 Preparedness occupied much of the time of 
the 1 2th Army Group Chemical Section. MacArthur's first problem 
on arriving on the Continent was to determine what might be done 
to relieve the combat troops of the need to carry the gas mask. 
Soldiers individually discarded burdensome masks whenever they felt 
that there was no further danger of gas or whenever they had what 
they regarded as a more important item to carry. Even when retained 
masks suffered abuse because carriers were used as catch-alls. Instruc- 
tion and training were useless in persuading soldiers to care for their 
masks. MacArthur met with members of the army group staff on this 
problem, and General Bradley himself suggested at the conference 
that division commanders be given the option of withdrawing masks 

110 Information on the 12th Army Group Chemical Section is from: (1) MacArthur Interv, 19 Sep 
61; (2) Leggin Intervs, 13 Oct 6i, 22 Nov 45; (3) Interv, Hist Off with Col Powers, USA (Ret.), 14 
Sep J?; (4) 12th Army Group, Rpt of Opns, vol. XI, Cml Warfare Sec. 

111 MacArthur (comments on draft of this volume) minimizes St. John's role since it was only that 
of an adviser with SHAEF headquarters. 



from individuals if transport could be found which would carry the 
masks with advancing troop units, making them readily available for 
reissue. Since no combat element either below or above division had 
an organizational baggage train, the only feasible solution from the 
army group point of view was to suggest that divisions allot the neces- 
sary space for masks in their division trains and this soon became 
SHAEF approved policy. 

The 1 2th Army Group Chemical Section was to perform its more 
routine duties through an organization which consisted of four 
branches: Administrative, Supply and Logistics, Operations, and Tech- 
nical and Intelligence. Five officers and 7 enlisted men were allotted 
to the organization, and on 13 October 1944 this allotment was reduced 
to 3 officers and 3 enlisted men. The duties of stating requirements for 
supplies and dividing scarce supplies, such as chemical mortar ammuni- 
tion, among the three armies proved to be time consuming. Formu- 
lating chemical annexes for army group tactical plans was also time 
consuming. Liaison, inspection, and intelligence duties and the constant 
and thorny problems posed by the necessity of advising on the allot- 
ment of chemical mortar units took the remaining time. Powers 
greatly regretted that no time remained to co-ordinate the direct gas 
warfare training being carried on by division chemical officers. He 
was not satisfied with the state of gas warfare preparedness although 
he felt that Rowan and his staff were doing an excellent job, considering 
the personal effort required for communication among the various 
elements in the theater. Powers managed to reverse the earlier policy 
and secure the reissue of the gas mask to individual soldiers. He felt 
that even a gas scare would have caused panic at the time of the Battle 
of the Bulge when troops had no individual protection. 112 He was 
never able to achieve the movement of more than a token stock of 
toxic ground ammunition to the Continent, and no aerial toxic muni- 
tions were ever moved from England. On the point of the adequacy 
of aerial retaliation, Powers disagreed with both Porter and Waitt. He 
shared the view of the Chief and Assistant Chief of the CWS that 
strategic aerial retaliation in kind against the initiation of gas warfare 
was possible, but he maintained that essential tactical retaliation, which 
would have taken a ground effort, had been overlooked. Because 
ground retaliatory preparation was only token, Powers, like many of 

13 For discussion of supply problems caused by this decision, see below, 

Chapter IV. 



his colleagues, believed the Allied forces fortunate in that the Germans 
never took advantage of their opportunities to initiate gas warfare. 

Lt* Col. Kenneth A. Cunin, who succeeded Coughlan as First Army 
chemical officer on 24 July 1944, also believed the American forces 
inadequately prepared for gas warfare because of the shortage of 
ground toxic ammunition. 113 Cunin considered the protective supply 
adequate, but his section agreed with 12th Army Group policy in 
reissuing individual protection at the time of the December threat. 
The First Army Chemical Section could do little to improve the pre- 
paredness situation from the standpoint of toxic supply or gas warfare 
training. Although the section allotment was 6 officers and 16 enlisted 
men, 3 officers and 13 enlisted men more than the 12th Army Group 
Chemical Section, First Army chemical officers found themselves fully 
occupied with the problems of the mortar battalions and those of 
nongas chemical supply and gas warfare intelligence. 114 

Colonel Wallington, Chemical Officer, Third U.S. Army, through- 
out the European campaigns, was less concerned about gas warfare 
preparedness than Powers and Cunin. He believed in preparedness, but 
he considered the gas warfare retaliatory potential in the European 
theater adequate in view of the absence of gas warfare. In Wallington 's 
opinion the theater command and combat commanders in Europe 
justifiably took the risk of being less than fully prepared for gas 
warfare. He believed the risk was justifiable because there were so 
many other pressing demands on commanders' resources, because 
United States national policy forbade the initiation of gas warfare, 
and because intelligence was expected to provide warning if a policy 
change was required. 115 

While Wallington believed that the state of gas warfare training 
among U.S. forces in Europe was such that the initiation of gas 
warfare would have resulted in panic, he conceived his job as being 
primarily that of supporting nongas warfare activities of the corps and 
divisions under Third Army. At the same time, he gave all the support 
he could to protective preparedness and intelligence activities. 116 This 
conception of duties meant that the TUSA Chemical Section, like the 

113 Cunin Interv, 5 Dec 45. Cunin was succeeded as First Army chemical officer by Col. Frederick 
\f. Gerhard in April 1545. 

U4 FUSA Rpt of Opns, 1 Aug 44-22 Feb 45, vol. 4, an. 13, Cml Warfare Sec Rpt, pp. 2*3-^7* 
116 Interv, Hist Off with Brig Gen Edward C. Wallington, USA (Ret.), 1 Dec 59. 



FUSA Chemical Section, devoted maximum attention to supply and 
to the needs of the chemical mortar battalions. It also meant the pro- 
vision of supply support and tactical advice for the smoke generator 
units which were heavily employed by TUSA, especially in its river 
crossings. As a result of experience in these tasks, the TUSA Chemical 
Section found that the one chemical depot company attached could 
not handle all supply requirements. It recommended that two such 
companies be assigned, and more important still, that CWS should 
have far more transportation for the depot company, the smoke gen- 
erator, and the mortar units. The CWS could not operate its own 
supply system, which it did with very little help from other supply 
services, and at the same time shift men and equipment in a fast- 
moving war without greatly increased transportation. The chemical 
section suggested addition of a truck company to the Army for CWS 
use. 117 

To accomplish the intelligence mission, which Wallington deemed 
so important since warning of necessary policy change was to come 
from intelligence information, two technical intelligence teams were 
attached to Third Army. Several of these CWS technical intelligence 
teams were organized and trained by the CWS in the United States 
and several more were organized and trained by Rowan's office. These 
teams were attached to Army chemical sections. They reported to 
the section to which they were attached and to Colonel Tarr's Intelli- 
gence Division in Rowan's office and to the CWS in the United States. 118 
The work of all such teams is revealed in an account of the activities 
of CWS Enemy Equipment Intelligence Service Team (EEIST) Num- 
ber One, under Capt. James F. Munn. 119 

EEIST Number One, consisting of Captain Munn and three enlisted 
men (a driver, a photographer, and an interpreter) was organized and 
trained in the United States and shipped to Europe in time to arrive 
in France on 18 July 1944. It was first attached to FUSA and was 
later under orders of the 12th Army Group Chemical Section until 
attached to the TUSA Chemical Section in September. During the 
campaign across France, the team investigated several French labora- 
tories and chemical factories used by the Germans, and analyzed, photo- 

117 TUSA AAR, 1 Aug 4 4~9 May 4J , vol. II, CWS Sec. 

118 CWS COM2 ETO History of Imell Div, From D Day Through V-E Day. ETO Admin 545B. 

119 The following account is derived from: (1) Reds of CWS EEIST No. 1, Apr 44— Aug 45, CWS 
314.7 EEIST No. 1; (2) Information furnished by Lt Col James F. Munn, USAR (Rec). 



graphed, and inventoried laboratory, manufacturing, and protective 
equipment. Although several rumors of German toxic stores were 
reported, the team found no German toxics and no equipment for 
manufacturing them. 120 Interviews with Frenchmen who had been 
pressed into German employment revealed only that the Germans were 
interested in and had continued French toxic and munitions develop- 
ment. As the campaign moved into Germany, the team was called 
upon for numerous similar analyses and descriptions, and it became 
increasingly involved in the interrogation of prisoners of war who 
might have chemical information. Such interrogations were carried 
on in co-operation with Army prisoner of war and intelligence 
authorities. This team and others operating on the battlefront gradu- 
ally accumulated a fairly good store of information concerning German 
individual and collective protection, doctrine, and instructions for 
civilians as well as military forces. The teams also collected adequate, 
although not abundant, information on German weapons and agents 
and chemical investigative processes. On 20 April 1945 the Chemical 
Officer, Seventh Army, informed EEIST Number One that the forward 
elements of the 14th Armored Division had discovered a German war 
gas factory in Velden, Germany. The XV Corps Chemical Section 
moved in to investigate. 121 A few days later, on 24 April 1945, XII 
Corps discovered a German toxic depot, whereupon the team set out, 
in co-operation with Colonel Wallington and Col. Ragnar E. Johnson, 
XII Corps chemical officer, to investigate and inventory this depot. 
The chemical analysis of captured munitions was beyond the capacity 
of this small team, but they were able to sort out munitions which 
could be sent to Rowan's Intelligence and Technical Divisions for 
further analysis. The findings of EEIST Number One proved beyond 
a doubt that the Germans were well and elaborately prepared for gas 
warfare and that they possessed toxic munitions unknown to the 
Allied forces. 

The Ninth Army Chemical Section under Col. Harold Walmsley 
and the Seventh Army Chemical Section under Lt. Col. Bruce T. 
Humphreville operated in much the same way as the First and Third 
Army Chemical Sections. Again the principal interest was in nongas 
warfare and defensive gas warfare supply. The Ninth Army Chemical 

130 A small store of French toxics was found. Ltr, Chief EEIST No. i to CmlO TUSA, 3 Oct 44, 
sub: Ammunition Dump at Fameck, France. CWS-EEIST-ETO-R 1 3 in CWS 314.7 CWS EEIST. 

131 Journal Memo, CmlO Seventh Army, 20 Apr 45. CWS 314.7 EEIST. 



Section additionally performed extensive liaison functions since that 
Army was for a time attached to the British 21 Army Group. 122 

Rowan was satisfied that chemical matters were well handled at the 
army group and army level. His greatest concern was that corps and 
division do their job well. 123 This job was a demanding one. The 
division chemical officer was actually in charge of field training and 
intelligence. He was adviser to his commander on gas warfare pre- 
paredness and on the employment of mortar battalions and was also 
adviser to his commander and to engineer and infantry teams on the 
employment of the flame thrower. His section either actually handled 
or kept close track of the handling of chemical supply and it was 
called upon to mix flame thrower fuel and fill flame throwers whenever 
they were used. The ability of the division chemical officer to handle 
this job depended upon his own energy and inventiveness since he was 
handling weapons and materials not familiar to most line soldiers and 
since his job concerned gas warfare preparedness, which was not popu- 
lar with many commanders and most troops. His ability to do his job 
also depended upon the encouragement and support he got from the 
division commander and his staff and from higher echelon chemical 
officers. It was the duty of the corps chemical officer to oversee all 
these activities for the several division chemical officers under his corps 
except that he had no specific duties in supply. Since the corps head- 

m (1) Ninth U.S. Army G-4 Per Rpts, 3-16 Sep 44; AAR's 1-31 Oct 44> Dec 44~J un 45- Files 
Li96~Envetope 10 Cml Sec and L;i6-Envelope 1; (2) Seventh U.S. Army CWS Staff Sec Rpts, 
1 Jan-31 Oct 44, and Dec 44. File L-1139 7th Army Staff Sec "43." 

158 The following account of the corps and division chemical officer's activities is derived from: (1) 
Rowan Interv, 28 Sep 58; (2) Rowan Comments, 16 Dec 60; {3) Col Ragnar E. Johnson, CWS, 
Study, Functions and Orgn, Cml Warfare-Liaison Sec Hq XII Corps, n.d.; (4) Interv, Hist Off with 
Col William C. Hammond, 26 Nov j6 (Colonel Hammond was Chemical Officer, VI Corps); (j) Ltr, 
Col John B. Cobb, USAR (Ret.), to Hist Off, 17 May 60 (Colonel Cobb was Chemical Officer, 3Jth 
Infantry Division and XIX Corps); (6) Interv, Hist Off with Col Edward J. Barta, USAR (Ret.), 23 
Sep J9 (Colonel Barta was Chemical Officer, XVIII Corps); (7) Cunin Interv, y Dec 45 (Colonel 
Cunin was Chemical Officer, 1st Inf Div, before becoming Chemical Officer, FUSA) ; (8) Interv Hist 
Off with Lt Col Levin B. Cottingham, 9 Oct 4$ (Colonel Cottingham was Chemical Officer, yth 
Infantry Division); (9) Intervs, Hist Off with Col William Foley, 16 Oct 46, 19 Dec 57 (Colonel 
Foley was Chemical Officer, 1st Infantry Division, succeeding Colonel Cunin); (10) Intervs, Hist Off 
with Col John L. Miles, 12 Apr 56, 9 Mar 61 (Colonel Miles was Chemical Officer, 26th Infantry 
Division); (n) Interv, Hist Off with Col Russell W. Dodds and Lt Col Samuel J. Boyles, 8 May $6 
(Colonel Dodds was Chemical Officer, 6jth Infantry Division, and Colonel Boyles was Chemical Officer, 
91st Infantry Division); (12) Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col Thomas B. Crawford, USAR, 18 Apr y6 
(Colonel Crawford was Chemical Officer, 80th Infantry Division); (13) Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col 
Herbert B. Livesey, Jr., USAR (Ret.), 8 Jun j6 (Colonel Livesey was Chemical Officer, 106th Infantry 
Division); (14) Interv, Hist Off with Col Alfred G. Karger, USAR, Jun j6 (Colonel Karger was 
Chemical Officer, 8th Infantry Division); (iy) Daily Log, Cml Warfare Sec, 29th Inf Div, 6 Jun 
44-30 Dec 44. 



quarters was primarily a tactical element, the corps chemical officer 
naturally centered his attention on tactical employment of chemical 
weapons and equipment. 

Rowan was of course concerned about the energy and resourcefulness 
of division and corps chemical officers since he, like Fries, believed that 
CWS services should be sold to combat commanders, but even after 
his arrangement on manpower with the ETO adjutant general, he 
could seldom control the assignment of division chemical officers since 
most such officers arrived with their divisions from the United States. 
Even in the few instances when replacements were made in the theater, 
the nearest ranking CWS officer was usually chosen by the organization 
commander without reference to theater manpower channels. Rowan 
was most anxious that the organization give the chemical officer a 
chance to do his job. Many commanders felt that in the absence of gas 
warfare, the corps or division chemical officer had nothing to do and 
was therefore available for any assignment in which there might be a 
vacancy. Rowan and the organization chemical officers expected that 
organization chemical officers would receive the normal quota of 
additional assignments to military courts, investigating and inspection 
teams, and the like, but Rowan urged all chemical officers to resist 
assignments to nonchemical duties which would occupy most or part 
of their time. Whenever Rowan had an opportunity in his tours he 
asked corps and division commanders or their chiefs of staff to permit 
chemical officers to devote most of their time to what were, in his 
opinion, the crucial duties of chemical training and intelligence. He 
also felt that chemical officers should be active in the staff supervision 
and tactical control of chemical mortar and smoke units which oper- 
ated under the organization commander. Despite Rowan's pleas, most 
chemical officers received additional assignments which consumed most 
of their time. The usual assignment was the operation of the organiza- 
tion liaison section which handled liaison with other organizations and 
higher echelons, received and briefed visitors, and maintained a tactical 
and/ or intelligence information center. One energetic chemical officer 
so assigned maintains that he spent precisely one and a half hours 
exclusively on chemical work while his division was in combat, but 
he believes he was a better division chemical officer because of his 
additional assignments. 

Those organization chemical officers not assigned the liaison task 



had many other regular or part-time assignments such as reconnais- 
sance for the division commander, acting as headquarters commandant, 
and even serving as divisional mess officer. Many organization chemical 
officers disagreed with Rowan and welcomed these nonchemical assign- 
ments since they were usually with the forward or command echelon 
of the division where the chemical officer could not expect to be in 
a nongas warfare situation, and since the work usually kept them in 
better touch with the tactical situation than most staff officers. As one 
chemical officer phrased it, the CWS officer was an orphan, away from 
any CWS command echelon — he increased his own prestige and that 
of his service if he could make himself useful in a combat organization. 
Frequently his ability to sell CWS services varied in direct proportion 
to his usefulness in a nonchemical capacity. Lt. CoL William Foley, 
Chemical Officer, ist Infantry Division, was assigned as assistant to 
the division assistant chief of staff, G-3. He felt that this assignment 
to the operations and plans element was ideal since in the event of gas 
warfare he would have been acquainted with the tactical situation and 
able to render his advice as a member of the staff section charged with 
applying the tactical plan. Most organization chemical officers with 
other assignments, like Foley, believed that they were not neglecting 
their chemical job. The assistant division chemical officer, a captain, 
and some or all of the four enlisted men in the section could handle 
supply and administrative functions from the division rear echelon. 
The assistant chemical officer could and usually did refer really knotty 
problems involving liaison with higher echelons or special requests for 
authority or supplies to the organization chemical officer in forward 

Many assistant division chemical officers and their enlisted assistants 
became proficient at handling chemical training, to which the whole 
section had usually devoted most of its efforts in the United States. 124 
Because of severe manpower restrictions on the CWS, every combat 
organization, just as in World War I, usually maintained unit gas 
officers (UGO's) in all elements at regiment and battalion levels. 
Unlike the World War I precedent, these officers were usually given 
this duty as an additional assignment, and they did not report to the 
organization chemical officer except for training. The division chemical 
officer was also responsible for training unit gas noncommissioned offi- 

181 See Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for WarApp. 582-93.1 



cers (UGNCO's) for every company-sized unit. This, too, was an 
additional duty and UGNCO's usually reported for this duty to UGO's. 
Most chemical officers attempted to keep the roster of UGO's and 
UGNCO's current by offering courses and demonstrations, even con- 
ducting them in forward areas, whenever commanders and operations 
officers would allot the time. The more ambitious chemical officers 
also trained decontamination squads from combat units, gave flame 
thrower training, and demonstrated the use of incendiary and smoke 
grenades. Corps and army chemical officers frequently co-operated, 
or at least provided moral support when the physical assistance they 
could give was limited. 

Division and corps chemical officers, like their seniors in army and 
army group, emphasized intelligence activities. Protecting captured 
munitions from souvenir hunters was one of the problems in this 
field as was securing transportation to take samples back for analysis. 
Corps chemical officers usually called upon the army chemical officer 
for EEIST assistance in such cases. 

A few corps and division chemical officers found it possible to par- 
ticipate actively in tactical plans and preparations, especially for 
smoke operation. 

Nearly every activity of the division and corps chemical officers 
presented problems. They were perpetually short of transportation 
and of service personnel. Supply of wanted items, such as incendiary 
or smoke grenades and mortar ammunition, was often short and com- 
munication to the rear to remedy these shortages was difficult. But 
despite these drawbacks, most corps and division chemical officers felt 
that they accomplished their mission and that their organizations were 
reasonably well prepared for gas warfare and had made effective nongas 
warfare use of mortars and smoke. The few who had biological warfare 
defensive training also felt that they were ready to cope with this kind 
of warfare should it come. Very few organization chemical officers 
seriously considered offensive gas warfare since, aside from the mortar 
battalions, they had no contact with any of the units scheduled to 
wage it and did not handle offensive supplies. 


There is no simple way of measuring the work of the CWS in the 
theaters of operations. There is no accounting comparable to that of 



tactical objectives taken, bridges built, and miles of communication 
wire laid. The 2,097 CWS officers and 26,909 CWS enlisted men in 
the European theater in March and April of 1945 were there, first, to 
provide the insurance that the American forces could continue to fight 
and retaliate in kind if the enemy initiated gas warfare. 125 Second, 
these "chemicals" as some denominated themselves, were there to 
provide CWS gas protective services, fire CWS nongas weapons, pro- 
vide supply of CWS items, and support the combat forces in any way 
which they or the theater commanders could devise. There was no 
question in Porter's, or Waitt's, or Rowan's mind that they provided 
gas warfare insurance and that they performed extraordinarily well 
at their nongas warfare tasks. 126 

Theater commanders, with a few exceptions, willingly supported 
the preparedness effort since they valued the insurance. They increas- 
ingly welcomed the CWS nongas warfare activities as the war pro- 
gressed. They had no heavy mortar other than the chemical mortar, 
which proved tremendously effective, and they had no means for 
sustained provision of artificial smoke other than the smoke generator 
units and CWS-furnished smoke pots and ammunition. 

There were many problems in accomplishing the CWS tasks ranging 
from lack of staff and service manpower to a general lack of under- 
standing of what the CWS might do in a nongas warfare situation. 
As in the Fries and Porter ideal, the ties between research and the 
battle lines, although tenuous, did exist, and Porter's conception of 
the CWS as a unique service, which participated and aided in almost 
every phase of military activity, was most nearly realized in the 
European theater. Rowan came closer than any other theater chief 
chemical officer to Porter's goal of operating a unified service although 
the unity in many cases completely depended on the personal obligation 
which most chemical officers felt toward their service and its senior 
representatives in the theater. 

125 Strength figures compiled from STM-30, Strength of the Army, prepared by The Adjutant 
General's Machine Records Branch monthly. The 31 March 1945 figure of 36,909 enlisted men is the 
peak CWS strength for the European theater as is the 30 April 1947 strength of 2,097 officers. (Brophy 
and Fisher, Organizing for War, app. B.) 

139 (1) Porter Interv, 24 Aug 61. (1) Waitc Interv, 13 May 61. (3) Rowan Interv, 28 Sep 58. 


CWS Administration and Supply: 

The Chemical Warfare Service, like the rest of the Army, matricu- 
lated in the logistics school of the North African campaigns. The 
Army had directly participated in the global supply effort for eight 
months before the planning for North Africa got under way, but 
this was the first Army participation in an Allied logistics operation 
of great magnitude. Supply of any considerable force at any time 
during the war was far from a simple matter, but probably no other 
logistics operation of the war was surrounded by so many complicating 
circumstances as this initial venture. Planning got under way late. 
Allied forces strategy for a landing originally projected for October 
1942 and finally for November did not assume a clear pattern until 
5 September 1942. The Allied commander-designate, General Eisen- 
hower, set up his planning headquarters, AFHQ, in England, though 
the source of the bulk of materials was the United States, and a major 
combat force under Maj. Gen. George S. Pat ton, Jr., was to sail directly 
from the United States for the assault. The Navy had determined 
that an acute shortage of cargo ships, the grave threat of submarine 
warfare, and the shortage of escorts made small, fast-moving, infrequent 
convoys a necessity; thus, the quantities of materials and the numbers 
of men to be shipped were severely limited and the intervals between 
deliveries were lengthened. Few troops had received enough training 
to be considered ready for operations, and elsewhere in the Army, 
as in the CWS, few production lines were furnishing equipment, 
especially new equipment, in desired amounts. Furthermore, the 
administrative mechanisms were not yet working properly. Jurisdic- 



tional boundaries between the Army Service Forces and the two other 
major War Department commands, Army Ground Forces and Army 
Air Forces, had not been clearly delineated. Strategic or tactical alter- 
ations time and again upset logistical plans. Details of port operation 
and organization still had to be fixed, and co-ordination among the 
ports, the technical services, and the Services of Supply headquarters 
was to be developed through the North African experience. General 
Eisenhower later wrote that the operation was . . in conflict with 
all operational and logistical methods laid down in textbooks. . . 

General Eisenhower called in Colonel Shadle one day in the middle 
of August 1942 and told him that he was appointed Chemical Warfare 
Officer, AFHQ. 2 This appointment to a supreme allied headquarters 
placed Shadle in a position that no CWS officer had ever been in 
before; the headquarters of Marshall Ferdinand Foch, the only perti- 
nent World War I example, had no special staff. General Eisenhower 
created AFHQ from a number of military concepts both current and 
new to comply with his basic directive. AFHQ was, first, an instrument 
for co-ordinating Allied strategic plans and operations and a combined 
command for ground, sea, and air forces. It was next a theater head- 
quarters or at least it was designed to contain the nucleus of a theater 
headquarters in that it had a full general and special staff oriented to 
the direction of American Army activities in a theater of operations. 
It was, third, a tactical and operational headquarters approximating 
that of a field army with initial supervision of three corps. It was, 
fourth and least, the parent organization for a communications zone 
headquarters whose operating elements, the base section headquarters, 
were being formed as adjuncts of the corps headquarters. 3 

Shadle and an officer assistant immediately set about making general 
chemical plans for the scheduled invasion, known as Operation Torch. 
On 15 September 1942, Shadle's section was officially organized as the 
Chemical Warfare Section, AFHQ. Lt. Col. Ian A. Marriott, British 
Army, was appointed deputy and one of the two American officers 
assigned became executive officer. One British major, three American 
enlisted men, and two British enlisted men completed the staff. While 

1 (1) George F. Howe, Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West, UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1957), ch. II. (2) Leighton and Coakley, ch, XVI. The 
quotation from General Eisenhower is cited on page 45 j. (3) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, J, 87-90. 

2 Interv, Hist Off with Gen Shadle, 16 May 61. 

'History of AFHQ, pt. I, Aug-Dec 42, pp. 1-26. (2) Pogue, Supreme Command, pp. 16-58. (3) 
Howe, Northwest Africa, pp. 32—59. 



the section was intended to serve both AFHQ and the planned Amer- 
ican theater Headquarters, North African Theater of Operations, 
United States Army (NATOUSA), the manpower allotment, as 
authorized by the AFHQ chief of staff, was sufficient only to form 
two divisions, one Administration, the other Technical and Intelligence* 
Despite the lack of a supply or logistics division, the AFHQ Chemical 
Section, in its NATOUSA role, was assigned staff responsibility for 
chemical materiel through the entire overseas span from requirements 
to salvage. 4 

Since at this time national policy and the toxic supply capability of 
the Army forbade the employment, even in retaliation, of war gases, 
Shadle and his staff made no gas warfare offensive plan. 5 They were 
also unable to make any nongas warfare offensive plans involving the 
use of chemical mortar units or the new portable flame throwers as 
neither units nor weapons were yet ready. Brig. Gen. Lyman L. 
Lemnitzer, AFHQ assistant chief of staff, G-3 , suggested to Shadle that 
artificial smoke protection would be valuable in view of German air 
superiority over the Mediterranean and North Africa. Shadle accord- 
ingly requested smoke pots both from the United States and from the 
British and drew up tactical smoke plans. The CWS in the United 
States could furnish only the prewar training allowance of one pot 
per twenty soldiers, a ratio which Shadle viewed as entirely inadequate. 
A part of the smoke deficit was made up by the supply of British pots 
and another part by the inclusion of some new mechanical smoke 
generators and a- smoke generator unit in the forces to arrive from 
the United States. Still, Shadle considered preparedness for smoke 
operations to be below the desirable standard. 6 

In the absence of gas warfare supplies, and with inadequate nongas 
warfare supply, the principal responsibility of the AFHQ and 
NATOUSA Chemical Sections was to provide for gas warfare pro- 
tection, and the prime corollary task was the computation of protec- 
tive materiel and service requirements for all forces expected to be 
in North Africa. Time was too short and the AFHQ staff section too 
small to accomplish this prime task without aid. Consequently, all 

* (1) History of AFHQ, pt. I, pp. 35-37, (2) Persona] Lrr, Shadle, Chief Cml Sec AFHQ, to 
Porter, CCWS, 11 Feb 43. CWS *oi— Shadle, Charles S. (O) in CWS 314.7 Pers Files, NATO, 
Feb 43-Feb 44. 

s For natio nal policy and toxic supply pot ential in T942, see Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War, 
Chapters [ifi] and QV] and above, I Chapter iJ 

• Shadle Interv, 16 May 61. 



the existing and forming chemical sections in the European theater, 
the Office of the Chief, CWS, in the United States, and the Chemical 
Section of General Patton's newly organized Western Task Force 
(WTF) headquarters in the United States pitched into the job, not 
only of estimating requirements, but also of actually supplying staff 
sections, materials, and troops. The OCCWS participated in these 
activities through liaison provided by ASF and OPD with the overseas 
staffs and with the WTF headquarters which was at first divided 
between Washington's Munitions Building and Indiantown Gap Mili- 
tary Reservation and was later consolidated at Fort George G. Meade, 
Md. T All echelons began planning before the character of the Torch 
operation had definitely been determined. 

In the United Kingdom, Maj. Gen. Mark W. Clark's II Corps Head- 
quarters, in which Col. Walter P. Burn was chemical officer, assumed 
most of the planning burden for what was to become Center Task 
Force (CTF), an American force scheduled to make an assault on and 
in the vicinity of Oran, Algeria. The Office of the Chief Chemical 
Warfare Officer, European theater, transferred one officer and four 
enlisted men into II Corps headquarters in September 1942. During 
September, October, and November, the remainder of the planning 
period, a number of CWS ETO officers and men were transferred into 
or detailed for service with the forming Mediterranean Base Section 
(MBS) and Twelfth Air Force headquarters in which supply matters 
were being co-ordinated with II Corps. 8 Maj. Herbert F. Croen, Jr., 
scheduled to be acting chief of the MBS Chemical Section, remained 
for some time with the CWS ETO to assist in the task of apportioning 
available chemical resources in England for Torch. Although SOS 
ETO had been advised that all Torch troops arriving from the United 
States to assemble in the United Kingdom would be fully equipped, 
the CWS ETO discovered that units and organizations inspected on 

7 (1) Memos, ACofS G-i WDGS for CG's AGF, AAF, SOS, and A Task Force, n, 20 Aug 42, sub: 
Security Control, A Special Opn. (2) Memo, Col Norman E. Fiske, WD Security Officer for All WD 
Security Officers, 18 Aug 42, sub: Rules Governing Security in the War Dept for A Special Opn. 
(j) Ltr, TAG to ACofS Opns SOS et at, 16 Aug 42, sub: Security Control, A Special Opn. SPX 
3 12. 1 1 (8-2J-42) MS-SPEX-M All in CWS 314.7, A Special Opn, Torch. 

8 (0 History of CWS Per Activities, in History, Sup Div CWS ETO (ca. Jan 1944). ETO Admin 
54jA. (2) Narrative History of Mediterranean Base Section, NATOUSA-MTOUSA, Sep 42 to May 44 
(hereafter cited as History of MBS), no paging. OCMH. (3) Ltr, Maling, CmlO XII AFSC, to 
Porter, CCWS, 3 Apr 43, sub: Orgnl History of Cml Warfare Sec, Twelfth AF. CWS 314.7 
Twelfth AF. 



disembarkation reported critical shortages of chemical equipment, 
especially protective equipment. 9 

The European theater Bolero build-up was brought to a sudden 
halt. 10 The CWS ETO diverted chemical equipment and supplies from 
Bolero reserves and from ordinary issues to fill shortages for Torch 
organizations and units. These organizations and units made requisition 
directly upon the CWS ETO for chemical supply, and the CWS in 
turn extracted requisitions to depots. Shortage of time, shortage of 
materials, and the fact that establishment of the depots had just begun 
did not permit the operation of the normal supply pattern under which 
a designated depot would receive requisitions from and make issues to 
all units in its geographical area. Since the impromptu supply arrange- 
ments were unlikely to cover all cases of critical shortage, the CWS 
ETO also undertook a program of inspecting the chemical readiness 
of units about to be shipped to North Africa in order to remedy needs 
which had been overlooked. 11 

In the United States, OCCWS and the Chemical Section, WTF, 
computed requirements and determined shortages, as did the CWS ETO, 
by checking tables of basic allowances (TBA's) and tables of organiza- 
tion and equipment (TOE's) against unit and organization requisitions 
and against inventories of materials in the hands of troops. While the 
supply of troops scheduled for the assault was being completed, 
OCCWS and the various chemical sections of organizations scheduled 
for Torch also computed the reserves necessary to maintain supply 
when forces were operating in the combat zone. The level of supply 
reserves in terms of days of supply was set by agreement among War 
Department agencies, AFHQ, and ETO headquarters, and OCCWS 
arrived at estimated expenditure rates in order to translate day of 
supply into actual quantities of materials. 12 Since no conclusive ex- 
penditure data were available, these estimates were at best educated 
guesses, but problems arising from lack of experience did not become 
apparent in the planning and early operational period. The CWS was 
able to supply gas warfare protective items, which made up the largest 

"Interv, Hist Off with Col Herbert F. Croen, Jr., USAR, 21 Sep 59. 

10 Bolero was the code name for the build-up of supplies in the British Isles for a projected Allied 
attack on continental Europe. Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, pp. 87-99. 

11 History of CWS Sup System, CWS ETO (27 Jul 42-1 Jan 44) (hereafter cited as History, Sup 
System). ETO Admin 545A Cml Warfare. 

13 A "day of supply" was the amount of any item, group of items, or entire category of supply 
calculated to support a given number of men (force or theater strength) in one day's operation. 



portion of the requirements list, 
in sufficient quantities to meet 
demands. 13 Problems arose in pro- 
viding commanders' special re- 
quirements, in providing service 
troops, and in limiting both 
troops and supplies to available 
shipping space. 

In connection with com- 
manders' special requirements, 
Col. Maurice E. Barker, WTF 
chemical officer, declared that 
General Patton would have "in- 
cluded a regiment of wizards" if 
such an inclusion would have 
given promise of help on the far 
shore. 14 Regiments of wizards Colonel Barker 

were in short supply, but each 

service conducted a search for any special equipment or special allow- 
ances of ordinary supplies which might be valuable in the operation. 
One OCCWS contribution was the recently developed mechanical 
smoke generator which was not available in time for shipment to 
the forces assembling in England but was included in WTF. 15 WTF 
also requested and received special allowances of incendiary hand 
grenades so that six grenades could be placed in every vehicle of 
the force and be used for destroying the vehicle in event of cap- 
ture. 16 Army Service Forces made a special allotment of chemical 
land mines for Maj. Gen. Ernest N. Harmon's Subtask Force Black- 

" (i) Requisitions and statements of shortages checked by OCCWS appear in CWS 310.2 files. 
(2) Memo, Brig Gen LeRoy Lutes, ACofS Opns SOS, for Chief of Sup Servs; Dir of Distr Div SOS; 
and Dir of Mil Pers Div SOS, 14 Sep 42, sub: Distr of Equip. SPOPP 475 in file CWS J147 
A Special Opn, Torch. (3) Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col Lyman C. Duncan, 3 Jun 5*. (Colonel 
Duncan was a member and chief of the OCCWS requirements staff during most of the war period.) 
(4) Howe, Northwest Africa, pp. 65-67. (5) Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col Matthew A, Capone, 
USAR, 24 Apr 58. (Colonel Capone worked at requirements computation in CWS ETO in the 
fall of 1942.) 

14 Personal Ltr, Col Maurice E. Barker, USA (Ret,), to Hist Off, 12 Jul 49. 

15 ( i ) For development of the mechanical smoke generator, see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From 
Laboratory to Field, |Chapter IX.] (2) For smoke generator operations in North Africa, see below, 

I Chapter VIILl 

16 CO Ltr, AG Task Force A [WTF] to ACofS OPD WDGS, 10 Oct 42, sub: Request for Grenades, 
Incendiary, M14. (2) DF, ACofS OPD to CG SOS, 11 Oct 42, sub: Request for Grenades, Incendiary, 
Mi 4. OPD 400 TF (10-10-42). Both in Class V Sup File, Theaters Br Plans Div SOS. 



stone, an element of WTF, and in answer to Shadle's request, ordered 
16,000 smoke pots and 1 1,300 incendiary grenades shipped to England 
for early delivery to CTF. 17 While the number of smoke pots was inade- 
quate from Shadle's point of view, the shipment at least denoted the 
firm intention of providing smoke cover for the debarkation ports. 
This port concealment operation was one the CWS had not previously 

Port defenses required the provision of chemical troops not only 
for smoke generator operation and for manning pot lines but also for 
supply, service, and maintenance of smoke units and their equipment. 
Very early in North African planning, before the operation had even 
acquired a code name, and before even chemical officers realized how 
large the smoke mission might be, the OCCWS decided that no 
chemical troops would be required in the initial phase of the operation 
and recommended that two chemical composite companies and three 
decontamination companies be landed only after beachheads were 
firmly established. The OCCWS also suggested that four impregnating 
companies should be considered as later additions to the force then 
contemplated while requirements for depot units and smoke generator 
units should be determined by the field commander on the basis of the 
tactical and logistical situation. 18 

These OCCWS troop recommendations and suggestions established 
the minimum chemical service requirement according to doctrine then 
current, and reflected the idea that gas warfare protection would be 
needed until forces started moving inland. Even this minimum service 
could not be provided until long after the beachheads were established. 
Lack of shipping space and lack of troops who could complete training 
and be prepared for overseas shipment in a short time caused a drastic 
alteration of plans. Commanders of the troops mounting in England, 
assuming that reserve stocks of chemical supplies would not arrive in 
the combat zone before service troops could be made available to 
handle them, and agreeing with the view that gas warfare would not 
start early, accepted a schedule under which chemical service troops 
were not provided in the initial phases of the operation. The possibility 

17 (1) Memo, CG SOS for CCWS, 23 Oct 42, sub: Mines, Land, for Mvmt 9999-Q-CWS-V. SPDDO 
476 Mines. (2) Memo, CG SOS for Dir Distr Div SOS and CofT, 3 Oct 42. SPOPP. (3) Memo, 
CG SOS for CCWS, 2 Nov 42, sub: Ammunition for 9999-K. SPDDO 471.6 Grenades, All in Class 
V Sup File, Theaters Br Plans Div SOS. 

M Ltr, Chief Field Serv OCCWS to Lt Col George H. Decker, Opns Div SOS, 28 Jul 42, sub: Cml 
Troops for Bolero. CWS 320.2/314 (7-28-4*). CWS 314.7, A Special Opn, Torch. 



of enemy initiation of gas warfare before arrival of chemical service 
troops was accepted as a calculated risk. Even had commanders re- 
quested such troops, few were available; the 6th Chemical Depot 
Company was the only chemical service unit available in England. The 
planners scheduled this company to arrive in the CTF area about one 
month after the initial landings. CTF planners also requested that a 
smoke generator company be scheduled to arrive as soon as possible 
from the United States. General Patton and his chief of staff, Col. 
Hobart R. Gay, wanted both service and smoke generator troops in 
the initial phase. WTF plans provided, because of superior resources 
in the United States and because General Patton deemed it a logistic 
necessity, for building up both reserve and operating stockages, in- 
cluding chemical, to a 90-day level as soon as troops and supplies could 
be landed. Colonel Barker decided to take along in the earliest echelon 
one platoon of a decontamination company, since such a unit could 
provide decontamination services in event of gas warfare, could initially 
handle chemical supply, and could use its decontaminating equipment 
to clean and disinfect buildings to be occupied by WTF headquarters 
and troops. He also obtained a smoke generator company to embark 
on the initial resupply convoy in order that smoke cover might be 
provided in port areas as soon as supplies began to be landed in quantity. 
Colonel Barker devised a plan under which the smoke generator com- 
pany could provide convoy smoke cover using deck-mounted gen- 
erators from its own organizational equipment. 18 

Planning completed, or at least terminated, the assault and assault 
support convoys, late in October and early in November, sailed from 
Hampton Roads, Va., and England's Mersey ports. The first convoy 
from England entered the Strait of Gibraltar on 5 November 1942. 

M { 1 ) For data on units, see Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War, (Appendix F] Units involved 
were the 6th Chemical Depot Company and the 69th Chemical Smoke Generator Company for CTF, 
and one platoon of the 21st Chemical Decontamination Company and the 78th Chemical Smoke 
Generator Company for WTF. No chemical units were originally scheduled for Eastern Task Force, 
a predominantly British force scheduled to land near Algiers. (2) Memo, ACofS OPD for CG SOS, 
6 Oct 42, sub: Preparation of the 78th Cml Co, Smoke Generator, for Overseas Mvmt. OPD 370.5/CT 
(10-6-42). (3) Memo, ACofS OPD for CG SOS, 6 Oct 42, sub: Assignment of the 69th Cml Smoke 
Generator Co. OPD 320.2 (10-6-42). (4) Memo, with Incl, ACofS G-3 Hq II Corps CTF for CG 
II Corps, 9 Oct 42, sub: Over-all Troop Rqmts. {$) Ltr, CG Task Force A to ACofS OPD, 7 Oct 42, 
sub: Request for Cml Co, Smoke Generator. (6) DF, ACofS OPD to CG SOS, n Oct 42, sub: 
Request for Cml Smoke Generator. OPD 320.2 TF (10-7-42). Last three in 7B Troop Unit File, 
Theaters Br Plans Div SOS. (7) Personal Ltr, Barker to Hist Off, 12 Jul 49. (8) Ltr, Burn, CmlO 
Hq II Corps CTF, to CCWS, 5 Dec 42, sub: CWS Opn in the Field. MTO CWS 370, Employment, 
Opn and Mvmt of Troops. (9) Barker, Comments on draft of this volume, Feb 61. 



The WTF convoy moved into assault position off the Moroccan coast 
a day later. On 8 November the three task forces struck and war in 
the Atlantic area began for the United States ground forces. 20 The 
token chemical sections and units still at sea on the support convoys 
probably had but little comprehension of the magnitude of the logistics 
operation in which they were about to participate. 

Chemical Supply — The Beachhead Phase 

Chemical supply experience in the North African and Mediterranean 
Theaters of Operations passed through several phases, each illustrative 
of a development in both the theater supply system and the chemical 
supply system. The terms theater supply system and chemical supply 
system are employed advisedly, because the theater system and each 
technical service system tended to develop independently although 
both were dependent to a considerable degree upon the War Depart- 
ment system. But that War Department system was only eight months 
old at the time of the landings in North Africa, and, as it was never 
able completely to overcome the traditional autonomy of the technical 
services in the United States, so was it even less able to exert its influence 
on the theater technical services through the intermediary of the 
theater organization. 

The theaters themselves had developed no consistent policy of supply 
organization. It was, for example, more than two years after the 
initial landings before the North African theater corrected a "serious 
flaw in the structure of organization," the assignment of base sections 
to NATOUSA rather than SOS NATOUSA headquarters. 21 War 
Department and theater attempts at supply system evaluation and 
co-ordination were consequently sporadic. With an almost overwhelm- 
ing amount of logistical work to be done in an unfamiliar and difficult 
set of circumstances and in the apparent absence of specific and con- 
sistent guidance from the major commands, each supply officer in the 
theater, whether of high or low echelon, pitched in to do the job as 
he saw it, creating his own policy in the process. Such ad hoc procedures 
inevitably resulted in the establishment of several systems, and, as the 
Mediterranean theater assistant chief of staff, G-4, later pointed out 

20 Howe, Northwest Africa, pp. 84-96. The third force was Eastern Task Force, a British con- 
trolled element. 
"Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, p. 30. 



with some asperity, each theater chief of technical service developed his 
own supply system. 22 

The period of the landings and the two months thereafter represent 
the initial phase in the establishment of the theater CWS supply system. 
During this phase the confusion and frustration of the lower echelon 
chemical supply officers led to measures for co-ordination at theater 
technical service level. 

Western Task Force 

Maj. Bruce T. Humphreville, Colonel Barker's assistant, who had 
won a coin toss with his chief for the honor, and four of the chemical 
section's enlisted men went in with the first wave of the WTF landing 
at Fedala and in the process lost all their personal equipment except 
the clothing they were wearing and their weapons. Colonel Barker, 
Capt. James J. Heffner, and the remainder of the WTF CWS contin- 
gent arrived in the D+5 (11-13 November 1942) support convoy 
outside the wreckage-strewn harbor of Casablanca, French Morocco, 
but the lack of facilities ashore kept them from landing. A few hours 
before debarkation at Casablanca on 19 November 1942, Colonel 
Barker informed the men of the decontamination platoon through 
their commanding officer, 1st Lt. Robert D. Myers, that they were to 
operate the task force chemical depot while the 78th Chemical Smoke 
Generator Company, which was to arrive with the D+20 convoy, 
worked with the Navy and the antiaircraft regiment on port air 
defense. Depot operation proved to be more of a job than the sixty 
days of chemical supply carried on the D+5 convoy and the thirty 
days from the assault convoy would seem to indicate. The principal 
difficulty was the lack of operating equipment and vehicles. The first 
platoon unit equipment was never unloaded from the transport, at 
least not at Casablanca, since the support convoy turned back after 
discharging only half its load. Unit transportation was scheduled to 
arrive on a later convoy. Most of the equipment and transportation 
of the task force chemical section had been lost when three transport 
ships were torpedoed and burned off the Moroccan port of Fedala. 
Chemical supplies were widely scattered throughout the Casablanca- 
Fedala area, even as far away as Safi (120 miles from Casablanca), 

Ibid., p. 76. 



in an all-services, all-classes 23 jumble which became only the more 
confused with each incoming shipload. 24 

Barker and Humphreville had fortunately been furnished money 
belts well stuffed with worn French francs, mostly in large notes. They 
bought a Ford truck and a Renault sedan, rented a tile factory for a 
depot, and hired some local labor. In Barker's opinion the money was 
the most valuable commodity they took ashore. The first platoon 
moved into a part of the tile factory, borrowed some quartermaster 
trucks, and proceeded to collect, transport, sort, stack, and inventory 
chemical supplies, most of which were located by a bicycle-mounted 
squad that regularly patrolled the docks. Barker's own WTF Chemical 
Section, except for two men, worked with them. The bulk of the 
supply, Class II protective items, was stored in the factory warehouses. 
Class V items, mostly incendiary and smoke grenades and fog oil, were 
stored in an open courtyard adjacent to the factory. On 21 December 
Colonel Barker reported the local supply position stabilized with about 
3,000 tons of all supplies in storage. The chemical supply plan was 
entirely of chemical section creation. WTF headquarters, while it had 
not interposed objections, had offered no help and no direction to the 
chemical procedures. Each of the other technical services represented 
had likewise set up its own procedures and was operating according 
to its own policy. 25 

Center Task Force 

Chemical officers with CTF — Colonel Burn, task force (II Corps) 
chemical officer, Major Croen, acting chemical officer of Mediterranean 
Base Section, and Colonel Elliott, chemical officer of Twelfth Air Force 
and XII Air Force Service Command — landed near Oran from the 
assault and assault support convoys (11-21 November 1942) to find 

"Classes refers to classes of supply, designated as follows: Class I, food; Class II, unit and organiza- 
tion allowances of clothing, weapons, vehicles, and tools; Class III, fuels and lubricants; Class IV, unit 
and organization special equipment not subject to prescribed allowances but allotted according to opera- 
tional needs; Class V, ammunition, pyrotechnics, mines, and chemical warfare agents. 

u (1) Personal Ltr, Barker, CmlO WTF, to Porter, 20 Nov 42, no sub. CWS SPCW 314.1/188 in 
file CWS 314.7 Barker Corresp, NATO, 1942-43. (2) 21st Cml Decontamination Co History, Sep 41 
to Sep 44. (3) Leighton and Coakley, Global Logistics, pp. 449-yi. (4) Ltr, Barker to 

Hist Off, 1 1 Aug 59. 

25 (1) 21st Crnl Decontamination Co History, Sep 42 to Sep 44. (2) Personal Ltr, Barker to 
Porter, 21 Dec 41. CVS SPCW 31JM/188 in file CVS 314.7, Barker Corresp, NATO. (3) Barker 
to Hist Off, 1 1 Aug j£. 


a supply situation as bad as the one first experienced at Casablanca- 26 
Although the lack of service units and materials had enabled the plan- 
ners to schedule only twenty -seven tons of Classes II and IV and only 
nineteen tons of ammunition for these convoys, the landing organiza- 
tions had strewn poorly marked supplies of all shapes and sizes through- 
out the beachhead area. The chemical officers found that to distinguish 
between maintenance supplies and the 6o-day reserve, which organiza- 
tions and units were scheduled to retain as their property, was virtually 
impossible. Even when the organization property was identified, the 
combat commanders understandably asked to be relieved of the burden 
of caring for it. 27 

Colonel Burn, his 3 officers and 7 men, established a chemical depot 
in a slaughterhouse on the outskirts of Oran, Algeria, in which they 
handled more than 70 tons of Classes II and IV in less than a month 
with the help of local labor and a detail of engineer troops. Burn 
vigorously stated his need for chemical service troops and suggested 
that service troops be assigned to the leading elements of any future 
operation. 28 Croen and his section, which eventually numbered 8 
officers and 17 men, established themselves in Oran where Mediter- 
ranean Base Section became operative under the supervision of II Corps 
on 1 1 November 1942, the day on which the first echelon landed. The 
MBS Chemical Section concentrated on setting up chemical storage 
and supply operations. The base section group took over the slaughter- 
house depot and began gathering such chemical supplies as Burn and 
his men had been unable to locate or unable to move. Knowing that 
British smoke pots were subject to spontaneous combustion when wet, 
Croen made an extra effort to collect them with the idea of establishing 
several small ammunition dumps at some distance from the city. The 
sites had been prepared and most of the pots collected in the slaughter- 
house courtyard awaiting the availability of transportation, when one 
of the pots ignited. The courtyard, which had been the only storage 
point, became an inferno minutes after the first pot flared. Most of 
the other supplies were saved, and the slaughterhouse was sufficiently 
isolated so that no other damage was done, but the new AFHQ head- 

39 Colonel Maling, who was at the time assigned to staff duty with the advance echelon of AFHQ, 
reached the landing area from a ship which was torpedoed and sunk just offshore. 

" <i) Burn Ltr, j Dec 42. (2) Capone Interv, 24 Apr j8. (Major Capone was a member of the 
Twelfth Air Force Chemical Section.) (3) History of MBS. (4) Maling Ltr, 3 Apr 43. 

88 Burn Ltr, j Dec 42. 



quarters in Algiers had to await resupply before effective smoke con- 
cealment could be provided. The lesson of this unfortunate accident 
was that specialist service troops and transportation are needed early 
in any operation. After the arrival of the 6th Chemical Depot Com- 
pany with the base section third echelon on 6 December to take over 
the job of establishing chemical depots and depot sections, the service 
problem was considerably eased. 29 

Since there was no transportation available, members of Elliott's 
section hiked several miles to their designated area near La Senia, 
Algeria, on the day of their landing. They bivouacked in a sea of mud 
and returned the next day to the port area to begin collecting supplies. 
Whenever any form of transportation could be begged or borrowed 
or whenever space could be obtained on any truck going in the right 
direction, they shipped supplies to La Senia. Since they had no ma- 
terials-handling equipment, no shelter and no depot setup, the only 
virtue in sending the material to La Senia was that it could be sorted, 
identified, and piled in some sort of order. They hired local workers 
whenever possible, sometimes paying them from personal funds or by 
bartering personal possessions. Arrangements had been made in plan- 
ning for the Twelfth Air Force to draw chemical supply from II Corps 
stocks while that organization controlled supply and subsequently from 
the base section. II Corps was unable to meet the air force's demands, 
and when the responsibility passed to the base section, that headquarters 
was forced to restrict the air force share to 25 percent of available 
supplies. MBS early became the focal point of supply for the Tunisia 
Campaign, and, in view of the fact that its original maintenance level 
was half that of WTF, a quota issue policy was the only answer to an 
increasingly perilous stock situation. Air force's chemical officers 
approved the quota imposition because they understood that their 
requisitions would otherwise have exhausted base section supplies. 
Under these conditions, the Chemical Section, XII AFSC, was six 
months in building up to a 30-day balanced supply. 30 

Shadle, his 2 British colleagues, 1 other American officer, and 2 
American enlisted men arrived in the theater in early December. As 

w (1) History of MBS. The base section became independent of II Corps on 6 December. (2) 
Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, pp. 20-22. (3) 6th Chemical Depot Co History (13 
Jul 42 to 8 Aug 43), 1944. (4) Croen Interv, 21 Sep 59. 

*° (1) Capone Interv, 24 Apr 58. (2) Mating to Porter, 3 Apr 43. (3) Elliott Comment* 
16 Jan tfi. 



Shadle indicated to the Chief, CWS, 2 officers could not thoroughly 
perform the multifarious duties demanded of the American 
(NATOUSA) complement of the Allied Force Headquarters, but 
they devoted as much time as possible to "one of the biggest jobs" 
they had, the supply of troops. Shadle examined operations in MBS 
and noted that, despite great obstacles, Croen was doing "a 'bang-up* 
job." Then, accompanied by Elliott, he visited WTF, which had not 
yet received the designated base section complement from the United 
States, and discussed chemical matters with Barker. Shadle found the 
whole theater force prepared to provide individual protection against 
gas warfare, and he found the CWS capable of meeting its supply 
responsibilities of the moment, but offensive preparedness was only 
in the early planning stage while almost the entire theater chemical 
supply organization and process remained to be developed. 31 

Chemical Supply — Theater Organization Phase 

Colonel Shadle's first task in the second phase of North African 
logistics development, after the task force service groups were absorbed 
in and supplanted by Atlantic Base Section (WTF) and Mediterranean 
Base Section (CTF) under AFHQ on 30 December 1942, was to decide 
upon an issue policy and to make corresponding storage and handling 
arrangements. 32 In theory, the base section chemical sections would 
simply have ordered their depots to fill table of equipment or table of 
allowance shortages for any organization or unit according to unit or 
organization requisition, but continental theory failed to cover the 
rough facts of life on the far shore. Many tables of allowances and 
tables of organization and equipment were incomplete, and the chem- 
ical sections were unacquainted with many others which had recently 
been revised or introduced. Even had information concerning new 
tables been provided in the theater, it would have been of no help. The 
North African logistics arrangements had been made with the old 
tables in mind and implemented with materiel available; therefore, 
chemical section depots lacked the quantity and variety of equipment 
demanded. Furthermore, many units arrived without basic equipment 
or with unusual demands for equipment to suit special operational 

81 (1) Personal Ltr, Shadle, Chief Cml Sec AFHQ, co Porter, CCWS, n Feb 43. CWS 201— Shadle, 
Charles S. (O) in file CWS 314.7 Pers Files, NATO, Feb-Dec 43. (2) Barker to Porter, 21 Dec 42. 

82 Base sections were organized by AFHQ General Orders, 38, 30 December 1942, cited in History 
of AFHQ, Part II, Section 1, pages 169-75. 



needs- Shortages developed, but the chemical supply officers' immediate 
concern was the determination of the extent of these shortages and the 
forecasting of future demands on the issue system. Colonel Shadle; 
Col. Siegfried P. Coblentz, Chemical Officer, Atlantic Base Section, 
who had arrived with part of his section in Casablanca on Christmas 
Eve, 1942; Colonel Johnson, who arrived in February 1943 to become 
Chemical Officer, MBS; and Colonel Barker, who became Chemical 
Officer, Fifth United States Army, when it was activated at Oujda, 
Morocco, on y January 1943 — all found that the principal obstacle to 
the determination of an issue policy was lack of information on current 
and forecast demand and on supply allowances. 33 

As an interim measure pending the establishment of an issue policy, 
Shadle adopted a compilation of chemical logistics data prepared by 
Colonel Barker on the basis of his experience. 34 This compilation was 
intended to serve as a guide in estimating issue, storage, and handling 
requirements, but the chemical officers were aware of the fact that 
it was far from definitive. They exhorted their colleagues in the 
United States to supply them with such information as the number 
of troops scheduled for the theater, the current descriptions of items 
and packaging in shipments, and the new development of material and 
techniques. Barker particularly requested a compact compilation of 
logistics data for field use which would be so handy and so valuable 
that it could compete for space in personal baggage with such essential 
items as candy bars and toilet paper. General Waitt, Assistant Chief, 
CWS, for Field Operations, promised that a pocket-size supply and 
issue catalog would be forthcoming, but no War Department approval 
for such a publication was ever secured. 35 

OCCWS found it difficult to provide information to the theater 
chemical officers. Both Porter and Waitt tried to include all informa- 
tion possible in personal letters. The personal letter method was un- 

■ (1) Shadle to Porter, u Feb 43. (2) Personal Ltr, Coblentz, CmlO ABS, to Waitt, Chief Opns 
Div OCCWS, 2? Feb 43. CWS SPVCO (4-3-43) in file CWS 3M-7 Pers Files, NATO, Feb-Dec 43. 
(3) Ltr, Johnson, CmlO MBS, to CCWS, 12 Apr 43, sub: Resume* of CWS Problems. CWS 314.7 
Corresp, NATO, Apr-Jun 43. (4) Ltr, Barker, CmlO Fifth Army, to CCWS, attn: Waitt, 9 Jan 43, 
no sub. CWS 314.7 Barker Corresp, NATO, 1942-43. 

** (1) Coblentz to Waitt, ay Feb 43. (2) Hq Fifth Army Cm! Warfare Memo 1, 4 Feb 43, sub: 
Data on Cml Warfare Sups [Col Barker's logistics data compilation]. CWS MTO ojo Logistical Data. 

M (1) Ltr, Waitc, Chief Opns Div OCCWS to CmlO Fifth Army, j Mar 43, sub: Development of 
CWS Items. CWS SPCVO (3-5-43) in file CWS 314.7 Barker Corresp, NATO, 1942-43. (2) Ltr, 
Waitt, ACCWS Fid Opns, to CCmlO [wc] MBS, thru CCmlO AFHQ, 30 Jun 43, sub: Resume" of CWS 
Problems. CWS SPCVO (30 Jun 43) in file CWS 314.7 Corresp, NATO, Apr-Jun 43. 



orthodox, but it was effective for some kinds of information particu- 
larly since the small number of regular CWS officers were so well 
acquainted with one another that there was little chance that personal 
letters would be misunderstood. When Porter and Loucks came to 
North Africa in April 1943 after their sojourn in the European theater, 
Porter appraised the information problem as being the most serious 
matter facing the chemical officers overseas. He accordingly directed 
the establishment of a liaison officer position for each theater in his 
own office. 36 These liaison officers were assembled in a theaters division 
operating under Waitt* Waitt inaugurated a special series of "Theater 
of Operations Letters" in May to let all principal overseas chemical 
officers know what was going on in the United States and in other 
theaters. Waitt almost immediately ran into a stumbling block. ASF 
wished to clear all information sent to the theaters and even wanted 
to control the content of technical channels communications. The 
CWS and the other technical services were forbidden to reproduce or 
even make extracts from official publications. Waitt deemed it neces- 
sary to continue technical channels communications which, as he later 
expressed it, "short-circuited ASF." 37 The use of theater of operations 
letters continued, but they were carefully oriented to technical, mostly 
research and development and intelligence, matters. Waitt's listing 
of official publications must have been frustrating to North African 
chemical officers since assembling a set of such publications was not 
possible at the time. 38 Indeed, Waitt and his liaison officers in the 
United States were frustrated at being unable to furnish all the in- 
formation required in any form the chemical officers overseas might 
want it. Waitt felt that most of the information desired was eventually 
supplied, even if by means almost clandestine. 36 But the problem of the 
moment early in 1943 was information on which to base an issue policy 
and that need was not met at the time. During the second phase of 
NATOUSA CWS development, for approximately the first six months 
of 1943, each of the base section chemical officers decided what allow - 

"Ltr, Loucks to All Concerned [OCCWS], 23 Apr 43. CWS SPCWS 319.1 (CW Activities in 
Great Britain). 

"Ltr. Waitt to Hist Off, 14 Sep 59. 

M (1) Barker to Porter, 9 Jan 43. (2) Johnson to Porter, 12 Apr 43. (3) Croen Interv, 21 Sep 59. 
38 ( 1 ) Waitt Comments, 5 Jan 61. (2) Waitt Interv, 1 3 May 61. 



ances of materiel to make as each instance of demand on the chemical 
supply system arose. 40 

Theater Chemical Section Organization 

The fact that base section chemical officers had to make their own 
interim policy decisions demonstrates that Shadle had a communica- 
tions problem of his own. During the first two months ashore, no com- 
munications system was operating well enough across the 1,500-mile 
range of the North African campaign to permit a comprehensive 
assessment of the situation. Personal visits provided the only feasible 
solution to this problem. Shadle visited the field elements, as he had 
done soon after arriving in North Africa, whenever he could, and 
field officers, in turn, visited him and each other. As a means of control 
these visits were too infrequent and too brief to be effective, but they 
at least kept chemical officers informed on the activities of their col- 
leagues. In February 1943 the War Department drew new boundaries 
and created the North African Theater of Operations. While Ameri- 
cans in AFHQ had long assumed that this theater was to be activated, 
there was officially no theater organization in North Africa. The 
theater organization in charge was the ETO in recognition of General 
Eisenhower's dual role as AFHQ and European theater commander. 
Upon the official creation of a new theater, Eisenhower designated the 
American element of AFHQ as the NATOUSA headquarters without 
physically separating the Allied and American elements. Shadle then 
added to his own office two American-staffed divisions, one for opera- 
tions and training, the other for supply and requirements. 41 

Neither of these new divisions had any operating function compar- 
able to that of Supply Division in the European theater. Again, dis- 
tance prevented direct control. Barker was handling training in the 
Fifth Army headquarters, and supply operations were still handled by 
the base section and combat organization chemical officers. A supply 
co-ordinating and operating agency was in the process of activation. 
The Services of Supply, NATOUSA, had been organized, and Maj. 
Arthur C. Rogers, assisted by one enlisted man, opened the chemical 
section on 2$ February 1943. 42 Col. Lewis F. Acker served as Chemical 

40 (1) Col Siegfried P. Coblentz, USAR (Ret.), Comments on draft of this volume, 9 Jan 61. (2) 
Croen Interv, 21 Sep 59. 

41 History of AFHQ, pt. II, sec. 4, pp. 5 10-1 1. 

"History, COMZ NATOUSA-MTOUSA, Nov 42-44, pt. L 



Officer, SOS NATOUSA, during the month of March, but he could 
accomplish little beyond arranging section organization since supply 
supervision channels were not yet in operation. In any case, early SOS 
lines of authority were not clear, manpower was not allotted in suffi- 
cient numbers for the task at hand, and existing regulations failed to 
cover the functions or the procedures of the organization. During 
April, with a section enlarged to three officers and twelve enlisted 
men, Maj. Alfred J. P. Wilson, acting chemical officer, began to 
assume the responsibilities of requirements computation and super- 
vision of supply status reporting. Shadle pointed out to Wilson and 
to Col. Alfred L. Rockwood, who became SOS NATOUSA chemical 
officer in May, that chemical supply policy was the province of the 
theater chief of service. Shadle exercised his policy control through 
his Supply and Requirements Division which was assigned the addi- 
tional duty of compiling and reporting statistical data on supply levels 
and on handling of chemical warfare supplies in the theater. In prac- 
tice, the function of Shadle 's office became more one of review than 
of control since nearly every operational act involved policy decisions, 
and the SOS headquarters at Oran was too far removed from AFHQ 
and NATOUSA organizations in Algiers to permit concomitant 
review. 43 The control-review situation was, however, not the only 
complication. The base sections continued to report to NATOUSA 
rather than to SOS, and base section chemical officers sometimes looked 
to Shadle's office for co-ordination of activities. Further, as in the 
European theater, many chemical problems continued to be handled 
through informal, personal contact outside the established channels 
of authority. Maj. Gen. Thomas B. Larkin, SOS NATOUSA com- 
mander, once asked Shadle to handle a chemical staffing problem in 
SOS. When Shadle pointed out that the SOS, a separate command, 
was outside his area, Larkin disagreed and reasserted that Shadle as 
theater chief chemical officer should deal with the matter. 44 Shadle 
did provide a solution to this problem and in so doing set his own 
precedent for an authority crossing a command line. Subsequently, 

" (i) History of COMZ NATOUSA-MTOUSA, pt. IV, Introduction, and History of Cml Warfare 
Sec SOS NATOUSA. (i) History of AFHQ, pt. II, sec. 4, pp. 510-13. (3) Personal Ltr, Shadle 
to Waitt, 26 May 43. CWS 314.7 Pers Files, NATO, Feb 43-Feb 44. (4) Interv, Hist Off with Col 
Alfred J. P. Wilson, USAR, 16 Oct 58. 

"Shadle Interv, 16 May 61. 



Shadle, or members of his immediate staff, did informally handle a 
number of other problems outside the theater headquarters. 

While problems of control did arise and while the CWS of AFHQ 
and NATOUSA was tending to be a separate service as in the European 
theater, Shadle did not view his control problem as being as serious as 
Rowan's. Shadle was in a better prestige position than Rowan since 
his position on the AFHQ and NATOUSA staffs was not complicated 
by an SOS jurisdiction over the technical services. Also, while Rowan 
from the end of 1942 to the end of 1943 was left largely without the 
support of ranking, experienced chemical officers, Shadle had experi- 
enced, aggressive, ranking chemical officers in almost every field 
position. 45 He could count on the field officers to perform their own 
liaison with field elements and to direct field CWS activities. Shadle 
did have a matter of some personal embarrassment in this connection — 
both Rockwood and Barker were his seniors in rank and the seniority 
rule for appointment to top positions had been almost inflexible in the 
Army prior to World War II. Shadle did not view seniority as being 
of great importance in his own case; only on one occasion did a senior 
officer point out his junior status. 48 On the whole, the autonomy of 
the field chemical sections and the rank represented there worked in 
the favor of the NATOUSA CWS and its chief. 

Shadle concentrated on the staff relationships within his own head- 
quarters and he consulted with or worked with the AFHQ and 
NATOUSA assistant chiefs of staff whenever chemical warfare matters 
were under consideration. He informed Waitt that his advice was 
sought and accepted by these officers. 47 This is not to say that there 
were no stresses and strains in CWS administration in North Africa. 
At the time of the organization of NATOUSA, Shadle praised the 
work of his American and British subordinates, but privately com- 
plained to Porter that Rowan and Montgomery had prevented his 
acquisition of more experienced officers. How the European theater 
officers could have blocked him he did not make clear since his own 
headquarters allotment prevented an increase in his immediate staff and 

40 Rowan highly valued the Reserve and AUS officers serving on his staff and in the field in the 
European theater. Both he and Genera J Porter indicate that the contribution of such officers to the 
success of CVS operations in Europe can hardly be overstated, but the fact remained that prior to the 
cross-Channel attack Rowan suffered from a lack of sufficient rank and experience among ETO CWS 
officers. (1) Rowan Comments, 16 Dec 6o. (2) Porter Interv, 24 Aug £x. 

* (1) Personal Ltr, Shadle to Waitt, 26 May 43. (2) Shadle Interv, 16 May 61, 

w (0 Shadle to Waitt, z6 May 43. (1) Shadle Interv, 16 May 61. 



since most of the senior ETO CWS officers had moved into North 
African field commands. 48 By the time of Porter's and Louck's visit 
to North Africa in April, the CWS NATOUSA had apparently ad- 
justed to the staffing situation since the visiting officers did not mention 
it in their letters reporting North African troubles. The pressing 
problem at the moment was that the chemical supply situation as a 
whole in North Africa had deteriorated to a "dangerously low 
position." 49 

Chemical Supply Situation: Spring 1943 

The serious threat to the North African theater's chemical warfare 
potential in April was the result of failure to obtain sufficient material 
from the zone of interior to raise the theater stock level and to balance 
it. As in the case of issue, the acquisition and balancing of theater 
stocks was, in theory, a simple matter. Theater levels were determined 
by the War Department on the advice of the theater commander. The 
ports of embarkation then automatically furnished food, fuel, and 
spare parts according to theater strength and number of vehicles in use. 
The theater requisitioned shipments in supply Classes II and IV to 
bring stocks up to desired levels. Ammunition was to be furnished 
according to War Department allotment. 60 But again, as task force 
experience demonstrated, theory rode high in the clouds while fact 
plodded the Tunisian sands. In the first place, the War Department 
instructions were issued at the time that planning for the North 
African operation was at its peak; even if the official publication was 
immediately and widely circulated, it is doubtful that supply officers 
would have had the time to give it much consideration. In the second 
place, the War Department for some time in effect suspended its own 
procedures, supplying Class II and IV supplies automatically rather 
than on requisitions based on actual consumption rates in the theater. 
The New York Port of Embarkation (NYPE) could not adjust 
quantities or kinds of supply until there was a considerable easing 
of the problems of shipping space and supply documentation. 51 The 

"Shadle to Porter, ir Feb 43. 

"Rpt, Cml Warfare Statistical Summary, Text Summary (hereafter cited as Statistical Summary), 
30 Apr 43. MTO CWS 400.19 Statistical Summary. 
W WD Memo 700-8-42, 10 Oct 4*. 

31 (1) Leighton and Coakley, Global Logistics, 1940-194}, p. 321 and ck XVI. (2) Logistical 
History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, PP . 51-54- 



theater staff found over-all supply documentation virtually impossible: 
there was no common reporting form, and, if there had been, the 
situation was too fluid and communication too poor for assembling 
data, particularly from the combat units. 

The base section chemical officers assumed the burden of evaluating 
chemical supply status on the receiving end because no one else pos- 
sessed as much chemical information. They then submitted requisitions 
for shortages to the United States (NYPE) , but some of these were 
edited or rejected by the port of embarkation because of noncompliance 
with the WD overseas supply procedures memorandum. Even in cases 
when the material was shipped, the port required a 90-day processing 
and shipping period. The base section chemical officers pleaded with 
the OCCWS to expedite supply, particularly items such as FS smoke, 
colored smoke, white phosphorus and thermite grenades, stocks of 
which were entirely depleted. General Waitt replied that he was 
unable to influence the requisitioning and shipping situation which 
was entirely governed by ASF and higher headquarters. 52 

The North African chemical officers could do little but wait and 
hope that shipments would be forthcoming from the United States. 
Their hopes were met, quantitatively at least, during the next month. 
Shipments received during May increased stocks so that 80 percent 
of major ground forces items were stocked in levels above the author- 
ized forty-five days. The air force's chemical supply position also 
improved although not as much as the ground force supply. The 
Chemical Section, Eastern Base Section, established by Capt. Carl E. 
Grant in February, was authorized to allot 50 percent of its stocks to 
the XII Air Force Service Command. Balancing stocks among the 
base sections continued to be a problem until at least the fall of 1943, 
since congested ports and inadequate railroad facilities rendered inter- 
depot transfers extremely difficult. 53 

Qualitatively, the supply picture was not so bright. Most of the 
items reported stocked at or exceeding authorized levels were protective 
items. The level of individual gas protection had been high and had 

H (1) Personal Ltr, Barker to Porter, 21 Feb 43. CWS 412.3 APO 464 (Sabotage Device) in CWS 
314.7 Barker Corresp NATO, 1942-43. (2) Personal Ltr, Coblentz to Waitt, 3 Mar 43. CWS 314.7 
Pers Files, NATO, Feb-Oct 43. (3) Personal Ltr, Coblentz to Waitt, 22 Apr 43. ABSCW in same 
file. (4) Personal Ltr, Waitt to Coblentz, 3 Apr 43- CWS SPCVO (4-3-43) »n CWS 314.7 Pers 
Files, NATO, Feb-Oct 43. (j) Waitt to CmlO MBS, 30 Jun 43. (6) Johnson to Porter, 12 Apr 43. 

M (1) Statistical Summary, 30 Apr, 31 May 43. (2) Maling Ltr, 3 Apr 43. (3) Logistical History 
of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, p. 23. 



remained so although the quantity of individual protective items in 
the resupply system was low in April. The collective protection 
potential, 54 on the other hand, was lower than that for individual pro- 
tection: the SOS Chemical Section reported shortages of the common 
decontaminating agent, bleach (chloride of lime) , of the power-driven 
decontaminating apparatus, and of the collective protector. 55 These 
shortages of protective supplies were important given the assumption 
that gas warfare could be initiated at any time, but the supply of gas 
warfare items to be used offensively should gas warfare retaliation be 
necessary was even more important. Supply of the nongas warfare 
chemical munitions such as incendiary bombs and high explosive mortar 
shell was highly important also. 

At the end of May, Shadle expressed his satisfaction with the chemical 
offensive potential and ammunition status in the North African theater. 
His view seems to have been overly optimistic since smoke pots, tear 
gas, and HC smoke grenades were the only ammunition items available 
in sufficient supply. All the chemical supply officers reported urgent 
requests for unavailable white phosphorus grenades. The Twelfth Air 
Force reported limited quantities of ANM50A1 4-pound incendiary 
bombs, a few M52 500-pound incendiary bomb clusters, and a con- 
siderable number of Mj4 100-pound incendiary bomb clusters. There 
was no other chemical ammunition in the theater although the New 
York port had promised that 120 days* supply of high explosive and 
smoke shell was en route for the three chemical mortar battalions which 
had recently arrived in the theater. Aside from a small amount of 
artillery shell stored by Ordnance, no toxics were available in the 
theater and none was scheduled to arrive until the fall of 1943. The 
March theater plan for gas warfare, the first such plan, was based on 
meeting possible enemy gas attack with this plainly inadequate supply 
of artillery shell. The new War Department policy for retaliation in 
event of enemy initiation of gas warfare called for the use of aerial 
munitions as the principal gas weapons. Shadle's satisfaction with the 
toxic supply status can be explained by the fact that he did not con- 

84 Collective protection is that provided to units or groups of men. For example, units and organiza- 
tions were provided with area and equipment decontaminating agents and the means to apply them 
should vesicant gases be used. The collective protector, a machine for filtering and circulating air, 
was to be provided for command posts and other crucial command and service installations which could 
not readily be moved in the event of gas attack. Brophy, Miles and Cochrane, From Laboratory to 
Field, ch. IV. 

65 (1) Statistical Summary, 30 Apr, ji May 45. (2) Shadle to Waitt, 26 May 45. 



sider the lack of aerial munitions to be a critical problem. He believed 
that the Axis Powers were in no position to initiate gas warfare in 
North Africa, a correct estimate, as it happens, for subsequent investi- 
gation proved that there were no German toxic munitions in North 
Africa. Still, in terms of War Department policy and authorized 
theater levels, the North African theater was critically short of offen- 
sive chemical munitions. 56 

Field conditions produced a further complication in the supply 
problem which was not unanticipated among chemical officers but 
which was not provided for by the War Department. Troops in the 
field are ingenious at adapting supplies to their own purposes. While 
the use of the gas mask carrier as a carry-all was frowned upon because 
it meant loss of the mask, chemical officers overlooked or unofficially 
encouraged secondary use of other gas warfare supplies in a nongas 
warfare situation. An acetate eyeshield had been developed by the 
British to provide readily available individual protection against liquid 
vesicant droplets in the absence of the gas mask. The United States 
forces in North Africa had been supplied with these eyeshields before 
the War Department declared them obsolete. North African troops 
used eyeshields in lieu of sunglasses and as protection against swirling 
dust and sand. Constant demand nearly exhausted the supply and, 
since there was no resupply channel for obsolete items, created a prob- 
lem for which chemical officers saw only one solution. The War 
Department had to be convinced that gas warfare items such as the 
eyeshield could be used in a nongas warfare situation so that a resupply 
channel such as existed for other items could be provided. Antigas 
shoe impregnite could be used as "canned heat," as could the chemical 
fire starter, and, when applied to tents, shoe impregnite proved an 
excellent waterproofing substance and served as a base for sand camou- 
flage. Antigas covers could also be used as a waterproof covering for 
shelter tents, and antigas curtains, when obtainable, served as ground 
sheets, tarpaulins, and foxhole covers. The decontaminating appa- 

ll ) Statistical Summary, 30 Apr, 31 May 43. (2) Shadle Ltr, 26 May 43. (3) Maling Ltr, 3 Apr 
43. (4) Col Gerhard to CCWS, 13 May 43, Notes on Visit by Col Frederick W. Gerhard, CWS, to 
Theaters of Operations in England and Northern Africa. CWS 314.7 Observer Rpts. (j) Memo, 
Actg ACofS OPD WDGS for CG ASF, 11 Aug 43, sub: Implementation of Theater Plans for Gaj 
Warfare NATO. OPD 385 CWP (11 Aug 43). (6) Ltr, CinC AFHQ to TAG, 19 Mar 43, Jub: 
Cml Warfare Plan for NATO. AFHQ AG 322.091/378 CWS-M in file OPD 3 8y CWS sec. 11B. 



ratuses could be used for insecticide spraying, carrying water, fighting 
fires, and giving showers. CWS nongas warfare supply turned out to 
be a considerably more active business than had been intended, par- 
ticularly since CWS officers could not allow the secondary uses of 
chemical items to lower the gas protective potential." 

As the second phase of the chemical supply operation in the North 
African theater drew to a close in June, the weapons and ammunition 
status took a turn for the worse. Supplies earmarked for the Sicilian 
operation were withdrawn without the prospect of immediate replace- 
ment. The process of chemical supply planning for the assault on 
Sicily had begun in March when Major Humphreville, newly desig- 
nated Chemical Officer, Seventh Army, sent the supply unit of his 
section to Oran to plan with the Chemical Section, SOS NATOUSA. 58 
Since logistic data were not available, the Chemical Section, MBS, 
supplied estimated data which the SOS and Seventh Army sections 
used to compute requirements. The SOS Chemical Section submitted 
requisitions to the zone of interior for assault materiel requirements 
and for maintenance stocks which were to be built up to a 30-day 
level as soon as depot operations in Sicily were practicable. The SOS 
section computed requirements on a regular table of allowance and 
maintenance factor basis, relying on estimates in cases when informa- 
tion was lacking. 59 This system presented no problems in Class II 
supply except for spare parts for which maintenance factors were 
unavailable. Any determination of spare parts usage rate was purely 
guesswork, and, even had estimates been accurate, spare parts stocks 
both in the theater and the ZI were wholly inadequate to meet the 
demand. The SOS supply officers found that the great drain on 
theater reserves came in the Class IV and special equipment categories. 
Major Humphreville requested special allotments of grenades and flame 
throwers and, in view of the constant need for smoke concealment in 

w (i) Statistical Summary, 30 Apr, 31 May 43. (2) Barker Comments, Feb 61. (3) Coblentz 
Comments, 9 Jan 61. (4) For m ore information on eyeshields, see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From 
Laboratory to Field. I Chapter IV. I 

68 Seventh Army was not officially activated until 10 July 1943. The predecessor headquarters was 
I Armored Corps. 

tt A maintenance factor was the estimated resupply quantity per month, stated as a percentage of the 
total theater stock, or of any item, necessary to maintain stock level, both in depots and in the hands 
of troops, while losses because of wearing out, capture, abandonment, pilferage, and the like were 
occurring. This designation was, in November 1943, changed to "replacement factor" to avoid 
confusion between repair and resupply. WD Cir 297, 13 Nov 43. 



the North African ports, 100,000 smoke pots for emergency use in the 
Sicilian ports. 60 

Major Wilson, then acting chief of the SOS Chemical Section, pro- 
tested this smoke pot allotment to the SOS commander, General Larkin, 
for two reasons: (1) regardless of requirements, a lack of shipping 
dictated a space allotment plan for Sicilian cargo, and most of the 
CWS space would be filled with smoke pots; (2) filling the Seventh 
Army demand for smoke pots would exhaust theater stocks and would 
require special shipments from the United States. General Larkin 
agreed to revise the Seventh Army requisition to a smaller amount, 
but General Patton, now Seventh Army commander designate, ap- 
pealed directly to General Eisenhower. Reasoning from the point of 
view which thereafter governed supply policy for both the North 
African and European theaters — that the combat commander should 
have anything he wanted — General Eisenhower insisted on the supply 
of the original smoke pot requisition. 61 

In this particular instance Major Wilson was probably right. But, 
in retrospect, this incident and the supply operations which it represents 
assume more significance than the immediate problems imply, for this 
operation marks the bifurcation of the chemical supply system. Hence- 
forth, one element of the chemical supply system was oriented, despite 
doctrine to the contrary, to an impetus from the front. 62 This element 
of the system was primarily devoted to meeting the demands and 
special requirements of the combat forces, especially for new equip- 
ment, such as the lightweight mechanical smoke generator, or equip- 
ment used in new missions, such as the 4.2-inch chemical mortar. 63 

w (1) Maj Humphreville, CmlO Seventh Army [to CG Seventh Army] (copy to CCVS), 15 Sep 43, 
Rpt of Cml Warfare Opns, Sicilian Campaign, reproduced as sec. H, pt. II, of Rpt of Opn of the U.S. 
Seventh Army in the Sicilian Campaign, 10 Jul-17 Aug 43, Sep 43. (2) History of Cml Warfare Sec 
SOS NATOUSA, in History of COMZ NATOUSA-MTOUSA. (3) Wilson Interv, 16 Oct 58. (4) 
IOM, A.L.R. [Col Alfred L Rockwood, CmlO SOS NATOUSA] to CofS [SOS NATOUSA], 20 Jul 43, 
no sub. CWS MTO 400.19 Statistical Summary. (5) MBS reported no spare parts, except for a wholly 
inadequate supply of some mortar parts, on hand as of 28 June 1943. CWS MBS [to Cml Sec SOS 
NATOUSA], Stock Status and Materiel Issue Rpt, 28 Jun 43. CWS MTO 142. 1 Inventory (Corresp). 

61 (1) Wilson Interv, 16 Oct 58. (2) Memo for Red, Rpt of Material on Hand in Depots and ASP*s 
in Sicily as of 20 Aug 43, dated 29 Aug 43, Cml Sec AFHQ and NATOUSA. In CWS MTO 142. 1 
Inventory (Corresp). (3) Min of Staff Conf, Hq SOS NATOUSA, 4 May 43. CWS MTO 337 Confs. 

82 Colonel Coblentz maintains (Comments, 9 January 1961) that the impetus from the front orienta- 
tion started earlier when base section chemical officers began deciding their own issue policy. 

84 For use of new equipment an d smoke technique development, see below, | Chapter VIII J and for 
mortar operations, see iChapter XI.l 



Impetus from the front meant that line organizations determined their 
own requirements for materials, determined how those materials should 
be used, and what the procedures of the supply system which provided 
them should be. It must be noted that under the impetus from the 
rear theory the line organizations had also always determined their own 
requirements, but the point of difference is that they selected their 
requirements from a list provided by and with procedures ordained 
by supply organizations, whereas under impetus from the front they 
drew up their own lists and established their own procedures. The 
other element, which retained the impetus from the rear orientation, 
was concentrated on the development of gas warfare offensive and 
defensive potential. Although the two elements of the chemical supply 
system overlapped and although they were both handled by the whole 
CWS organization in the theater, base and field chemical sections 
became increasingly concerned with the immediate nongas warfare 
support of combat forces and their routine preparedness for gas war- 
fare defense. The impetus from the front pattern imposed great 
strains on the supply system. War Department long-range supply 
planning and even the planning of the SOS in the theater was fre- 
quently scrapped or greatly amended when combat forces demanded 
a 6-month supply of an item for a 30-day operation or when a standard 
item of supply was rejected. This pattern also called for many 
improvisations. Many front-line organization chemical officers gave 
reality and immediacy to Fries's concept of the closest possible con- 
nection between research and the fighting line by carrying on a certain 
amount of research and even manufacture in the combat zone. 
Initially, the CWS in the theater used the same supply channels and 
procedures for both elements of the system, but as the Joint and 
Combined Chiefs of Staff and their subsidiary committees assumed 
more direct control of gas warfare policy, 64 the impetus of supply 
for the preparedness mission moved even farther to the rear than 

Chemical Supply and Administration — Development 
of the Theater Chemical System 

The accommodation of the existing system of impetus from the 
rear to the new demands of the unofficial system of impetus from the 

** Sec Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War, cK. IV.I 



front characterized the third phase of chemical supply in North Africa. 
This phase in the theater CWS supply and administrative system, in 
contrast to the second phase, was marked by the availability of an 
increasing amount of supply information to chemical supply officers. 
This development had its inception in the establishment, mentioned 
above, of a statistical reporting function in Shadle's office. It gathered 
momentum from the activities of each supply officer in the field and 
from the operation of the SOS Chemical Section and from the improved 
communications throughout the theater. In April, for example, Major 
Wilson invited the chemical supply officers to a conference in which 
they arrived at a common understanding of procedures and where they 
received the latest information available to SOS NATOUSA.® 5 At the 
end of May the theater "went on" the materiel status report, which 
was a War Department prescribed report prepared in the ports of 
embarkation to show the zone of interior, in-transit, and theater status 
of certain controlled and critical items. Since only about one-quarter 
of the 200 stock chemical items in North Africa was included, the 
immediate impact on theater chemical supply was not great, but the 
materiel status report and its supporting perpetual inventory in the 
ports of embarkation required more exact reporting of theater on-hand 
and expenditure data — data which became part of a more extensive 
accounting and reporting system. 66 

The base sections had begun to report stock status to the theater 
and SOS chemical sections in April under the increased reporting 
requirement. However, their reports were little more comprehensive 
than the earlier informal reports until June, when comprehensive 
reports from ABS and MBS and a partial report from Eastern Base 
Section permitted the theater and SOS chemical sections to compile 
the first full-scale stock status report. Even then, quantity in the 
hands of troops was known for only one item, the eyeshield, which 
had been reported 500,000 short. The theater chemical section assumed 

w Min of Sup Officers Mtg, Hq SOS NATOUSA, 24 Apr 43. CVS SOS NATOUSA 337/4 m CWS 
MTO 337 Conf*. 

*<i) Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, pp. 59-60. (2) History of COMZ NATOUSA, 
pt. I. (3) Rqmts and Stock Contl Div ASF, Rpt, Survey of the Opn of the Materiel Status Rpt, Aug 
44. Files of Rqmts and Stock Contl Div ASF. 



that supply of all other items in the hands of troops equaled authoriza- 
tion since no other complaints had been received. 67 

The SOS Chemical Section requested, in July, that the Commanding 
General, NATOUSA, require troop units and organizations to submit 
full reports of chemical materials in their hands. 68 These reports began 
to arrive in August, and the chemical supply officers thereafter calcu- 
lated the status of theater supply much more realistically. The 
improvement in calculating supply status again raised the question of 
the adequacy of requirements and logistical data computations. While 
the CWS supply catalogs, which contained detailed information on 
requirements, allowances, spare parts, and item nomenclature, were 
not available until January 1944, chemical supply officers assembled 
such data from other sources in 1943. 69 

The Army Service Forces manual, Logistical Planning and Reference 
Data, arrived in the theater in May 1943. Although the ASF manual 
primarily dealt with transportation of supplies, it did present some 
helpful examples of requirements computations. 70 Such information 
as the ASF manual provided was useful, both in the headquarters and 
to the supply officers in the field, but it met only part of the need. 
To satisfy the whole need, Colonel Coblentz, Chemical Officer, ABS, 
made his own compilation of logistical data. 71 In July he obtained 
OCCWS Circular No. 1, issued on 20 June 1943 as a predecessor to 
CWS supply catalogs. Although the OCCWS circular contained the 
latest War Department information, Colonel Coblentz* experience in 
the theater led him to reproduce a table of maintenance factors pre- 
pared by the CWS ETO. The European theater was not engaged in 

m (1) Ltr Rpt, AG EBS to CG SOS NATOUSA, 3 Jul 43, sub: Stock Status and Material Issue Rpt. 
EBS CWS 400.11 in CWS MTO 14 2.1 Inventory, Base Sec, vol. I. (2) AG ABS to CG SOS NATOUSA, 
4 Jul 43, Stock Status and Material Issue Rpt. ABS AG 31 9.1 in CWS MTO 142. 1 Inventory, Base Sec, 
vol. I. (3) CWS MBS [to CG SOS NATOUSA], Stock Status and Material Issue Rpt as of 28 Jun 43, 
2400 H [29 Jun 43]. CWS MTO 14 2.1 Inventory (Corresp). (4) [Chief Cml Sec AFHQ and 
NATOUSA to CG NYPE thru CG NATOUSA], ca. 15 Jul 43, Rpt, Theater Status, Chemical Warfare, 
Selected Class II Items — 30 Jun 1943, and Chemical Warfare, Selected Class V Items — In Depots 30 Jun 
1943. CWS MTO 050 Logistical Data. 

88 Ltr, AG SOS NATOUSA to CG NATOUSA, 10 Jul 43, sub: Inventory of Cml Warfare Materiel 
in Hands of Troops. SOS AG 142.1 in CWS MTO 142. 1 Inventory (Corresp). 

" 1st Ind, Lt Col Lloyd E. Fellenz, ExO CW Sec Hqs NATOUSA, to CmlO Seventh Army, iy Jan 
44, on Ltr, CmlO Seventh Army to CmlO NATOUSA, t Jan 44, sub: Request for Logistical Data. 
Seventh Army 400-CW in CWS MTO ojo Logistical Data. 

TO Unnumbered manual, Hqs SOS, Feb 43, Logistical Planning and Reference Data. Stamped "May 
1943" in Cml Sec AFHQ and NATOUSA. CWS MTO oyo Logistical Data. 

71 Memo, Off of CmlO ABS, no addressee, 4 Jul 43, sub: Logistical Data — CWS Supplies. CWS MTO 
300.6 Memo Book I. 



ground combat, but, from the point of view of the chemical supply 
officer, the data compiled by the CWS ETO was the best and most 
realistic then available. Accordingly, the NATO Chemical Section 
relayed through the OCCWS a request for a complete set of the CWS 
logistical tables prepared by CWS ETO. In August CWS ETO for- 
warded to NATO a complete set of its tables plus a description of the 
computing processes and a listing of pertinent authorities. But, shortly 
after this material was received the situation in NATO changed. A 26 
October note on the ETO letter of transmittal indicated that Colonel 
Shadle consigned the ETO material to the dead file "as ETOUSA logis- 
tics [are] not necessarily applicable here." 72 

It seems probable that Colonel Shadle meant that the ETO data had 
been useful only until the North African theater had revised and 
adapted the information to its own use. Theater officers quickly learned 
a lesson which the War Department seemed to have great difficulty in 
understanding — that the procedures of one theater were not necessarily 
applicable to the conditions of another. The theater and SOS chemical 
sections, having learned this lesson, were consequently in the process of 
adapting and revising all logistical data to fit the experience of the 
Tunisian, Sicilian, and early Italian campaigns. Many theater supply 
officers continued to believe that the War Department supply authori- 
ties were unresponsive to their needs, but their logistics analyses led 
them to request adjustments in the War Department governing 
directives. For example, the theater CWS suggested, as early as July, 
a revision in some War Department maintenance factors. As such 
suggestions demonstrated, chemical supply officers were becoming more 
sophisticated in the handling of their system, and, as a consequence, 
the system was becoming more standardized internally; yet, at the 
same time, it was becoming more individual since its logistical data, 
the basis for its operation, was compiled and controlled within the 
system. 73 

By the end of August, Colonel Coblentz, then chemical officer desig- 

" (1) Ltr with Incls, Col LeRoy, Chief Sup Div CWS ETOUSA, to CmlO NATOUSA, 24 Aug 43, 
sub: Transmittal of Logistic Tables. CWS ETO SOS CW 050/77 (10 Aug 43 )SD in CWS MTO 050 
Logistical Data. (2) For more information on the CWS ETO system, sec below. Ichapter IV. I 

n (1) Wilson Interv, 16 Oct 58. (2) Statistical Summary, 31 Jul 43. (3) Ltr, Harold L. Field 
to Hist Off, 1 Feb J9. Mr. Field, as lieutenant and captain, was a supply officer in the Chemical Sec- 
tion, SOS NATOUSA. (4) Lt Col Joseph F. Padlon and Maj Howard P. McCormick, War Plans Br 
OACCWS Field Opns, to CCWS, Rpt on Visit to NATOUSA (hereafter cited as Padlon-McCormick 
Rpt), Z4 Feb 44. CWS 314.7 Observer Rpts. 



nate of Peninsular Base Section, which was organizing within Atlantic 
Base Section for supply operation in Italy, had assembled enough 
information to compile a detailed set of chemical supply instructions 
covering definitions, organization methods, reporting forms, distribu- 
tion, and storage operating data. 74 This compilation is evidence of a 
significant improvement in procedures, and it is noteworthy that these 
procedures and the reports which controlled them were largely of 
theater CWS origin. 

At the same time individual performance was improving as the 
chemical supply officers gained confidence in themselves and their 
system. Colonel Shadle had advised General Porter in May that 
". . . everything pertaining to supply knowledge is deficient. Our 
officers are simply not trained in supply work and staff procedure." 
Major Wilson agreed. 75 But in November Colonel Shadle wrote to 
General Porter, "All of the officers over here ... are doing a splendid 
job." 76 The change had been wrought by extensive on-the-job supply 
training afforded by actual supply experience and by such compilations, 
both official and unofficial, as Colonel Coblentz had prepared. As 
Colonel Shadle also declared, . . we now know what we are talking 
about and what is needed. . . ." 77 In other words, the field elements 
of the chemical supply system, with the exception of that portion 
applying to the Army Air Forces, were well established during the fall 
of 1943. In October Colonel Maling's Twelfth Air Force Chemical 
Section still lacked a basis for requirements computation both for 
incendiary bombs and toxics. Such information by War Department 
decision could emanate only from Army Air Forces headquarters in 
Washington. 78 

At the same time that the supply level was improving during 1943, 
the supply handling situation was also improving. The SOS Chemical 
Section increased its operating responsibilities with the addition of 
such duties as those assigned in June of editing, consolidating, and 

"CWS Sup Cir Ltr No. i, i Sep 43. CWS MTO 300.6 Memo Book I. This copy, apparently a 
draft, is headed, "Chemical Section, Base Headquarters." There is no signature and no indication that 
the draft was s-ubmitted for staff comment or that the circular was ever issued, either by Peninsular 
Base Section or by Headquarters, NATOUSA. 

75 (1) Personal Ltr, Shadle to Porter, 4 May 43. CWS 320.2/20 in file CWS 314.7 Pers Files, NATO, 
Feb-Dec 43. (2) Wilson Interv, 16 Oct 58. 

76 Personal Ltr, Shadle to Porter, 23 Nov 43. CWS 314.7 Pers Files, NATO, Feb-Dec 43. 
"Personal Ltr, Shadle to Waitt, 2 Dec 43. CWS 314.7 Pers Files, NATO, Feb-Dec 43. 

™ (1) Padlon-McCormick Rpt, 24 Feb 44. (2) Notes on visit to North African theater made by Brig 
Gen Alden H. Waitt and Lt Col Jacob K. Javits, OCCWS, 17-26 Oct 43. CWS 3147 Observer Rpts. 



forwarding to the zone of interior base section chemical requisitions. 
Rockwood's section increased to seven officers, a warrant officer, and 
thirteen enlisted men and women organized into Administration, 
Supply, Control, and Technical Divisions. 79 These divisions supervised 
base section requisitioning, inventorying, and reporting activities on 
what SOS termed "a sort of individual project" basis. The lines of 
supervision were by no means direct or consistent since SOS still did 
not have command control of base sections. 80 

The base section chemical officers and those in the air forces con- 
tinued to develop their own systems of operation. Each chemical 
officer received a different type of assistance from his own command 
organization. In Coblentz' opinion, base section headquarters' attempts 
to help created "nothing more than a bottleneck," because the base 
section staff knew no more than the chemical officers about supply 
procedures, and because the staff officers lacked such chemical informa- 
tion as the chemical officers compiled for themselves or got from their 
colleagues in the United States and in the theater. 81 The base sections 
did designate storage locations and did provide some co-ordination 
among the services. Chemical sections improved storage and handling 
at these locations with the help of a number of service units. 82 By the 
end of February 1943, the Twelfth Air Force had received its comple- 
ment of four chemical air service companies. 83 

CWS Staff and Functions, AFHQ and NATOUSA 

During 1943 Shadle's office acquired several new functions, in addi- 
tion to those authorized when the AFHQ Chemical Section was first 
established. (Chart 6) An analysis of actual performance of these 

functions demonstrates what role the CWS NATO had come to play.' 

79 History of Cml Warfare Sec SOS NATOUSA, in pt. IV, History of COMZ NATOUSA-MTOUSA, 
60 Ibid. 

81 (1) Coblentz to Waitt, 25 Feb 43. (2) Croen Interv, 21 Sep 59. (3) Capone Interv, 24 Apr 58. 

83 In addition to the early units mentioned above, the nth Chemical Maintenance Company arrived in 
January 1943; the 6yd Chemical Depot Company and the 12th Chemical Maintenance Company in 
March; the 41st Chemical Laboratory Company, the 9 2d Chemical Composite Company, the remainder 
of the 21st Chemical Decontamination Company, and the j2d and 53d Chemical Processing Companies 
in May; and the 24th and 25 th Chemical Decon tamination Companies in June 1943. See Brophy and 
Fisher, Organizing for War, [app. HJ and see below ]"ch. VII- 1 

ra The 751st and 758th Chemical Depot Companies, Aviation, arrived in December 1942; the 753d 
Chemical Depot Company, Aviation, and the 875th Chemical Company, Air Operations, reached the 
theater in February 1943. 

"Functions are stated in History of AFHQ, Part I, pages 59, 60, Part II, Section 4, page 511. This 
analysis, unless otherwise noted, is derived from a survey of the collected files of CWS MTO. 



< 9 

w „ 

2 a 
& w 




w 2 












H g 








_ E 


c * c 





The principal function was to advise the commander in chief (AFHQ 
and theater commander) and his staff on chemical matters. This was a 
standard special staff function which involved, for the CWS, gas 
warfare planning and any other matters which might require theater 
supervision. In the absence of gas warfare, performance under this 
function became a routine matter of concurring or advising on theater 
personnel, operation, and supply. 

Another function was to plan the use and allotment of chemical 
troop units, and in 1943 the scope of this planning was extended to 
the procurement and supervision of all CWS personnel in the theater. 
Performance under these functions was advisory since Shadle had no 
command responsibilities. The advisory capacity was severely limited 
by theater quotas on both personnel and units, and by the requests of 
individual field commanders for personnel and units — requests which 
usually overrode staff advice. Shadle's Chemical Section managed to 
get enough service units even when training in the United States could 
not keep pace with worldwide demand. Combat units were eventually 
obtained on about the same basis on which they were furnished other 
theaters, three battalions per authorized army during peak combat 
activity. 85 With respect to officers, Shadle experienced difficulties similar 
to Rowan's — the theater received a number of CWS casual officers 
who frequently were badly handled by the replacement system. It was 
practically impossible to find vacancies for all arriving officers, and it 
was absolutely impossible to determine their qualifications so as to 
channel officers to duties for which they were fitted. 86 

The principal mission of the theater CWS in the event of gas warfare 
was to supervise "chemical operations, gas-proofing, decontaminations, 
and filling of chemical munitions in the Theater," 87 as well as chemical 
training. This mission resulted in the establishment of review activities 
rather than of supervisory controls since, in a nongas warfare situation 
and under the organization of the theater, actual supervision devolved 
upon the base section and field army chemical officers and their sub- 
ordinates. The theater chemical section usually learned of chemical 
operations after their accomplishment. Shadle did use field reports of 
experience to supplement War Department directives with theater 

85 See Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War, app. H-i. 

w (i) Interv, Hist Off with Wilson, 16 Oct 58, (2) Waitt Comments, 5 Jan 61. Waitt's comment 
on the replacement system is "scandalous." 
87 History of AFHQ, pt. I, p. 60. 



directives on operation, and he did make his office serve as a clearing- 
house for operational information, but these activities were too remote 
to be classed as supervision. In unusual cases either the theater or the 
SOS Chemical Section followed up on compliance with directives or 
solutions to problems, but the staff was not large enough to make this 
an invariable practice. 88 Functions added in the operational sphere 
during 1943 were planning and advising on the smoke protection of 
port areas and distributing technical information on area smoke screens. 
While the theater chemical section became more directly involved in 
the direction and appraisal of smoke operations, these functions, too, 
were usually performed by working with field chemical officers who 
had prime supervisory responsibilities. 

Two functions, intelligence and co-operation with the theater sur- 
geon, were primarily liaison and reporting functions. Intelligence was 
initially handled by the British complement of the AFHQ Chemical 
Section, and the British continued to play a large part in this activity 
after it became a joint enterprise. One officer, Lt. Col. Henry I. 
Stubblefield, was added to the section for medical liaison and to plan 
protection against the possibility of biological warfare.. 

Three of the remaining original functions covered the supervision 
of supply from requirements to distribution. Since the theater section 
was not staffed to handle supply supervision, since the theater chemical 
section had no opportunity to inaugurate a basic supply plan like that 
used in the ETO, and since theater organization in effect decentralized 
supply operations to such a degree that field chemical officers in fact 
instituted their own supply plans, the 1943 assignment of functions 
provided that the theater chemical section should "merely" procure 
"logistical and statistical data on chemical warfare supplies in the 
theater." 89 Shadle spent most of his own time dealing with supply 
matters. He was proud of his accomplishments, and he was commended 
by British as well as American authorities for performance in this 
area. 90 From Shadle's own point of view, he and his AFHQ section 
performed exactly those functions which should have been theirs in 
the light of tradition and of theater conditions. He saw no need, as 
chief chemical officers in other theaters did, for enlarging his planning 

88 Interv, Hist Off with Julius F. Klaswick, 6 Mar 59. (Mr. Klaswick, as lieutenant and captain, 
served with the SOS and theater chemical sections.) 
89 History of AFHQ, pt. II, sec. 4, p. jii. 
M Ltr, Shadle to Hist Off, 18 Aug 59- 



Colonel Shadle and Staff in Algiers, Fall of 1943 

responsibilities, or for attempting to influence combat operations, or 
for striving to exercise control of the theater CWS through technical 
channels. He felt that he appropriately operated most of the time 
through command channels. He later pointed out that his position 
as a staff officer in a supreme headquarters, AFHQ, made it possible 
for him to operate differently from Rowan, who did not occupy such 
a position. 91 

By the end of 1943, Shadle's AFHQ section was authorized 5 
American officers, 3 more than authorized at the time of the invasion, 
and 3 British officers, one more than in the previous year. Enlisted 
strength had grown from 2 to 4 Americans, but the number of British 
soldiers had remained at 2. 92 Lt. Col. Lloyd E. Fellenz, a Regular Army 
officer and a smoke expert, had arrived to become executive officer. 93 
Lt. Col. Ian A. Marriott had returned to London to be replaced by 
Lt. Col. G. des C. Chamier as British deputy. 

"Shadle Interv, 16 May 61. 

w History of AFHQ, pt. II, sec. 4, p. 513. 

w Shadle to Porter, 4 May 43. 



Theater and CWS Reorganizations 

When, early in 1944, General Eisenhower left the North African 
theater to take command in Europe, the character of the North African 
organization was changed slightly to accommodate to a British supreme 
commander and to new responsibilities. The theater at last corrected 
what from a staff point of view had been a serious error in the original 
organization. 94 The Communications Zone, which had been inseparable 
from the theater organization except in the person of its commander, 
Maj. Gen. Everett S. Hughes, also deputy theater commander, was 
combined with the theater SOS, and the new command was given 
those theater functions which pertained to the COMZ. At the same 
time, the remaining American responsibilities were restricted to ad- 
ministration — all control of combat operations passing to AFHQ or 
the combat organizations. The result was essentially the creation of 
a tricommand organization like that of the War Department. 95 

Shadle's office maintained its staff and its AFHQ-theater position, 
but the functions of control of COMZ personnel and units, COMZ 
training and gas warfare defense, and all allocation and issue of supply 
passed to the SOS Chemical Section. Colonel Maling moved from 
Twelfth Air Force to assume Rockwood's position as chief of this 
section which was augmented by the addition of one colonel, three 
majors, and a captain. 96 

The COMZ Chemical Section then assumed control of the "impetus 
from the rear" supply system and took over some of the administrative 
functions which had been the province of AFHQ, and of NATOUSA, 
then renamed Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTOUSA). 
Shadle, who became a brigadier general on the same day that Rowan 
received his promotion, maintained his section as a clearinghouse for 
chemical information and did a considerable amount of troubleshooting 
in the field of both CWS supply systems. But the work of the theater 
headquarters chemical section was declining while that in the European 
theater section was as great or greater than it had been. 97 One reason 
for this was the growing emphasis in MTOUSA on combat organiza- 
tion and function rather than theater organization. Another reason 

"Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, p. 30. 
w (1) Ibid. (2) History of AFHQ, pt. Ill, sec. I. 

M (1) History, Cm! Warfare Sec SOS NATOUSA. (2) History of AFHQ, pt. Ill, sec. 4, pp. 979-80. 
"Interv, Hist Off with Col Johnson, 18 Aug $9. (Johnson at the time was S ha die's American 



was Shadle's view of his own function. Since he emphasized the staff 
role and since, ideally, staff work declines when administrative systems 
are functioning smoothly, it was appropriate that the work of his own 
section would decline. The administrative systems were, for the most 
part functioning smoothly by the middle of 1944, or, at least, the 
problems which had beset the systems had become less important. 

If gas warfare had ever been a threat in the Mediterranean area, it 
would have been at the time of the assault landings. Shadle had been 
proved right in his estimate that there was little threat in the North 
African landings. In the Sicilian landings small stores of enemy toxics 
were found, but their placement and manner of storage indicated 
that there was no intention of using them. 98 For the landings on the 
Italian mainland, Allied intelligence officers feared that toxics would 
be employed by the enemy, and as a result retaliatory stocks were 
brought in too soon. A tragic gassing of Allied forces in the harbor of 
Bari, Italy, occurred when enemy action breached a ship carrying 
Allied gas." No clear signs of German intent were found when troops 
broke through into the Italian mainland. The prolonged struggle along 
the Rapido and the Winter Line would have given the Germans an 
excellent tactical opportunity to use gas, but again no evidence turned 
up that they had considered the employment of toxics. 100 The principal 
CWS mission, preparedness for gas warfare, therefore lost weight in 
the Mediterranean theater, and the part of the COMZ Chemical 
Section mission which related to gas warfare supply became of little 
importance. The whole of the COMZ organization declined in im- 
portance late in 1944, possibly because the impetus from the front 
system had its own de facto communications zone. In the opinion of 
the chemical officer, Peninsular Base Section — which supported Fifth 
Army — was a communications zone itself. 101 His opinion was con- 
firmed by an organizational change in November 1944 under which 
COMZ was discontinued and its functions delegated to Peninsular Base 
Section. 102 

98 Hammond Interv, 26 Nov 56. 

99 (1) Shadle Comments on draft of this volume, 24 Jan 61. (i) Interv, Hist Off with Col Francis 
Browne, USAFR (Ret.), 23 Oct 61, (3) Capone Interv, 24 Apr y8. 

100 Porter Interv, 14 Aug 61. 

101 Memo, Coblentz to Rowan [ca. 1946], sub: Comments on Theater CVS Orgn. CWS 3 14.7. 
102 Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, pp. 37-38. 



Still another reason for the decline of the theater headquarters CWS 
sections was that the intelligence activity, largely managed by the 
British, had never assumed much importance in the American group. 
Furthermore, since facilities were lacking for a technical activity and 
since liaison with the British on technical matters was carried on by 
the European theater CWS, there was no need for a large technical 
organization in NATOUSA-MTOUSA. The theater chemical lab- 
oratory company did not experience, as did chemical laboratory com- 
panies in most other theaters, frequent calls for development work. 

A recurrent theme of the CWS effort in the Mediterranean area 
was that the service's most important experience here was supply 
experience. The CWS MTO supply system entered its fourth phase 
in the winter of 1943-44. During this phase, which eventually included 
most of the period prior to victory in Europe, the bifurcation of the 
supply system was most marked. Ground chemical supply officers 
brought nearly all of their attention to bear on item troubleshooting 
which had been a part, but only a subsidiary part, of their concern 
since the initial landings. As they became more and more concerned 
with the immediate needs of the combat forces it became more appar- 
ent that to wait for instructions and supplies to filter down through 
the complicated system from the zone of interior was not always 
possible. The local arrangement, the informal agreement, and the 
field expedient became the order of the day. The officers in the field 
evolved new techniques and used supplies and equipment where and 
when they were needed, regardless of the original intention or function. 
Whenever it was possible they manufactured supplies or adapted 
equipment to their immediate needs. They tended to suspect the 
motives of every rear area organization, even that of their own theater. 
One base section chemical officer bitterly remarked, perhaps with some 
exaggeration, that it was easier to manufacture spare parts than it was 
to "argue SOS [NATOUSA] out of them." 103 

The basic problem was that the War Department's impetus from 
the rear supply system was not sufficiently responsive to the immediate 
needs generated by changing conditions in the field. Yet even the 
suggestion that an impetus from the front policy was being employed 

ia§ Memo, Lt Col Henry C Hall for Col Rockwood [CmlO SOS NATOUSA], 21 Mar 44, no sub. 
CWS MTO 333 Inspections and Investigations. 



was enough to call forth official investigators* 104 Despite this official 
disapproval, CWS and other ground supply officers in MTO accom- 
plished their supply tasks. 

For example, Lt. Gen. Mark Clark's Fifth Army set up its own 
system. Ammunition supply points (ASP's) were set up close to the 
front for each corps plus one ASP for troops not attached to corps. 
Each supply point contained a chemical, an ordnance, and an engineer 
section manned by service troops of the appropriate branch but com- 
manded by the Ordnance Department representative. Combat troops 
drew what they needed from the ASP after certifying that the amount 
drawn plus that on hand would not exceed the basic authorized load 
for their organization. Supply points for other classes of supply were 
so located that each combat organization could form one convoy to 
bring up all its supplies. Late every afternoon, Colonel Barker's 
assistants visited each supply point and reported back to him an 
estimate of stock status. Barker consulted operational plans furnished 
him by the Army staff and calculated necessary levels in each ASP. 
He then telephoned Coblentz in base section headquarters at Naples 
to tell him what supplies were needed at what points and depots. 
CWS officers and men waiting in trucks loaded with supplies, which 
usually had been sorted, cleaned, reboxed, and marked in the base 
section depots, received Coblentz' instructions and departed to re- 
plenish all Army ASP's and depots before daylight. As the Army 
moved forward, the base section took over and expanded forward area 
depots established by Fifth Army so that there would be no change 
in the distance through which immediate supply action need take 
place. 105 

Coblentz and his section, plagued by continual shortages of man- 
power and equipment, by what he considered to be a lack of under- 
standing of combat needs on the part of all echelons to the rear, and 
by the continual necessity of refurbishing or even making wanted items, 
found themselves hard put to keep up with Fifth Army needs. 106 

104 IOM, ACofS G-4 MTO to CofS MTO, 13 Dec 44, sub: Rpts of Inspection Made by War Dept 
Inspectors. CW5 MTO 333 Inspection and Investigations. 

(1) Barker to Hist Off, 11 Aug 79- (2) Ltr, Coblentz to Hist Off, 17 Aug 79. 
in Coblentz to Hist Otf, 17 Aug 59. 



Theater Chemical Supply Problems 

The first of the troubleshooting problems the CWS dealt with in 
the Mediterranean area was that of item overages and shortages. The 
second was the fact that the condition of some material on reaching 
the theater was such that extensive repair, renovation, or adaptation 
was required — this was the maintenance problem. There were many 
other troubleshooting problems, but, examples of the overages and 
shortages and of maintenance problems not only demonstrate solutions 
but also show how the practice of impetus from the front operated. 

Overages and Shortages 

The problem of item overages and shortages resulted from several 
causes. Overages were brought about by oversupply from the United 
States or by failure to deplete stocks as anticipated. Shortages were 
caused by breakdown of faulty or damaged materials, by failure to 
unload ships because of lack of facilities, by failure to estimate needs, 
or by enemy destruction of ships or depots. One major cause of over- 
ages was automatic supply. The New York Port of Embarkation con- 
tinued automatic supply or materiel status report supply, which was 
virtually automatic, on many items. Consequently, by the end of 
July 1943, the stocks of three items, noncorrosive decontaminating 
agent, protective ointment, and shoe impregnite ranged from 125 
percent to 143 percent of authorization. Before the end of the year 
the overages on some of these items reached nearly 200 percent of 
authorization. Although the SOS Chemical Section cabled the port 
of embarkation canceling requisitions and requesting discontinuance 
of automatic supply on the grounds that the storage and transportation 
expenditures exceeded the value of stocks, stock continued to accumu- 
late. In desperation, theater chemical officers appealed to General 
Somervell during one of his trips to the theater, but it was 1944 before 
shipments began to decline. The first three items remained in excess 
stockage until disposal procedures were instituted late in 1944. Shadle, 
claiming that the Arabs sometimes pilfered shoe impregnite for use 
as a butter substitute, suggested that one solution for the problem of 
excesses was to encourage this practice. 107 

107 (1) Statistical Summary, 31 Jul 43, 31 Aug 43, 30 Sep 43, 25 Oct 43, 31 Oct 43, 25 Nov 43, 
30 Nov 43, 2$ Dec 43, 31 Jan 44. (2) Wilson Interv, 16 Oct 58. (3) Ltr, Shadle to Hist Off, 18 
Aug 59. (4) "Sup Status of CWS Protective Materiel in MTO," table compiled from theater materiel 
status reports, reproduced in Baldwin, Bingham, and Pritchard, Readiness for Gas Warfare in Theaters 
of Opera tions,app. B. 



Other overages in the stocks of canisters for collective protectors, 
diaphragm gas masks, and dust respirators resulted from changes in 
the basis of issue. In the absence of gas warfare, replacement stocks 
of collective protector canisters were not sent forward, and, since 
there was no expenditure, excess stocks accumulated in depots. The 
diaphragm gas mask, equipped for voice transmission, proved to be 
cumbersome and not much more efficient for voice transmission than 
the service mask with M8 outlet valve. The basis of issue was therefore 
eventually changed from 30 percent of issue requirements for gas 
masks of all kinds to issue to artillery and Signal Corps units only. 
But meanwhile shipments of diaphragm masks continued to arrive at 
the rate set by estimate, resulting in excess stocks. Although the troop 
demand for dust respirators in North Africa was heavy, individuals 
in the field found that they were principally used by drivers of vehicles 
and that other soldiers were so weighted down with equipment that 
the respirator could not conveniently be carried. Respirators were 
therefore issued in substantially reduced numbers on a per-vehicle 
rather than per-person basis. The new issue policy led to overages in 
depots. Excess stocks of the diaphragm mask were returned to the 
United States after issue of the new lightweight service mask, which 
began late in 1943, was complete. Excess stocks of the collective pro- 
tector canister and dust respirator were held in the theater until late 
in the war since it was considered possible that the theater commander 
might again have to change the basis of issue if events took a different 
turn. 108 

While theater chemical supply officers found the problems presented 
by overages annoying, as the overages tended to create inefficiency in 
the supply system, the problem of shortages threatened, on several 
occasions, to destroy part of the CWS effectiveness in the theater. The 
first serious shortages after the stabilization of the supply system were 
holdovers from the prestabilization period. The CWS in the United 
States was unable to initiate production of the Mi 5 white phosphorus 
grenades until July 1943 and was unable to supply the theaters during 
that year. 109 The M8 HC smoke grenade was substituted in the North 

™* (i) Statistical summary cited in n. 107 (1) above. (2) Sup Stacus of CWS Procective Materiel 
in MTO cited in n. 107 (4), above. 

108 (1) CWS Consolidated Rpc of Procurement, 1 Jan 40-31 Aug 45. (2) 2d Ind, ACCWS Field 
Opns to CCmlO NATOUSA, 15 Dec 43, on basic Ltr, CmlO Seventh Army to CCWS, thru CCmlO 
AFHQ and NATOUSA, 24 Sep 43, sub: Cml Warfare Opns Sicilian Campaign. CWS SPCVO 119,1. 



African theater, but Seventh Army chemical officers reported that 
the M8 grenade was not effective in the Sicily Campaign because it 
produced an insufficient volume of smoke and because it lacked the 
antipersonnel effect of the white phosphorus grenade. The M8 grenade 
was nevertheless again substituted for the white phosphorus grenade 
early in the Italian campaign as there was still no theater stock of the 
Mi 5. The theater CWS acquired some white phosphorus grenades in 
the fall of 1943, and a sufficient stock was built up by December 1943. 
Although a total of 269,639 white phosphorus grenades was used in 
combat in the theater by the end of the war, this munition would 
probably have been more extensively employed had combat soldiers 
become acquainted with it during the initial campaigns. 110 

Another, and even more critical item was the 4.2-inch chemical 
mortar, with spare parts and ammunition. After twenty days of 
fighting in Sicily, where the chemical mortar battalions saw their first 
extensive action and where they proved themselves invaluable and 
practically indispensable in a close support role, the theater had only 
one complete mortar and about a dozen barrels and base plates in depot 
stock. 111 Since the mortar was already being used considerably more 
than had been intended, barrels wore out rapidly — so rapidly in fact 
that a dozen replacement barrels did not begin to satisfy the demand. 
The really critical need, however, was not for the barrel, nor even for 
the base plate, which broke at the excessive ranges demanded of the 
weapon, but for elevating screws and recoil springs, which were not 
even listed among spare parts available. In August CWS supply officers 
listed no mortars or mortar parts whatever. In September they received 
stocks although still insufficient to meet demands; and the SOS Chem- 
ical Section noted that Shadle had requested 1 20 days' reserve of mor- 
tars, comparable to the reserve for ammunition rather than that for 
other Class II weapons. The need for parts was so great that mortars 
received in working condition were broken down for this purpose. 112 

In October the North African CWS again had no mortars. In 

110 (1) Statistical Summary as cited in n. 107 (i), above. (2) Ammunition Sup Rpt, 31 Oct 43, 
31 Dec 43, 31 Jul 45. This report was a feeder report prepared in OCCWS for the ASF monthly 
progress report. Ltr, CG ASF to CofOrd and CCWS, 3 Nov 43, sub: Instructions for Preparation of 
Ammunition Supply of MPR. ASF SPX 319.1 (30 Oct 43) OB-P-SPDDL-MB-A. (3) Rpt of Cml 
Warfare Opns Sicilian Campaign. (4) Padlon-McCormick Rpt, 24 Feb. 44. 

111 Statistical Summary, 31 Jul 43. 

1U (1) Statistical Summary, 31 Aug 43, 30 Sep 43. (2) Padlon-McCormick Rpt, 24 Feb 44. (3) 
Wilson Interv, 16 Oct 58. 



November the War Department increased the maintenance factor 
from 7 percent to iiy 2 percent, but experience in Italy outmoded 
the new factor before it was received. 113 By the end of 1943 General 
Porter had personally intervened to secure air shipment of 12 mortars 
and a few critical mortar parts to the theater. In all, late in 1943 and 
early in 1944, 172 mortars were scheduled to arrive by air or by 
convoy to relieve the situation in which depot stocks were nil and there 
was an actual shortage of 16 mortars in the operating battalions. Also 
in November 1943, the first serious theaterwide shortage of 4.2-inch 
mortar ammunition was reported. Despite the mortar shipments and 
the 40,000 rounds of HE mortar shell en route to the theater, supply 
proved to be insufficient. 114 

In February 1944 Rockwood diagnosed the difficulty as a lack of 
systematization in mortar supply and repair and the failure of the 
CWS in the United States to observe existing directives with respect 
to spare parts and replacement. 115 His analysis undoubtedly covered at 
least part of the problem, but the CWS in the zone of interior could 
not supply the parts it did not have. The CWS inaugurated its first 
comprehensive procurement plan for spare parts in 1944, and it was 
not until late 1944 and early 1945 that the products of this plan 
became available in quantity through an integrated spare parts opera- 
tion. 116 The CWS also made herculean efforts to supply ammunition, 
and, while theater problems of maintenance and distribution, as will 
be indicated below, and occasional lags in delivery to the theater caused 
critical local situations and ammunition rationing, the over-all supply 
met the demand in 1944 and 194 5. 117 Rationing of ammunition also 
became necessary at Anzio in January of 1944 because of the large 

^"Coblentz Comments, 9 Jan 61. 

114 (1) Statistical Summary, 31 Oct 43, 25 Nov 43, 25 Dec 43. (2) Ammunition Sup Rpt, 31 Dec 
43. (5) Wilson Interv, 16 Oct *8. (4) Msg, CM-lN-14914, CG NATOUSA to WD, 24 Nov 43. 
(y) Ltr, CCWS to CCmlO AFHQ and NATOUSA, n Dec 43. (6) ASF, Cml Warfare Serv Monthly 
Maint Factors, 4 Nov 43; ASF, Cml Warfare Monthly Replacement Factors, 13 Jan 44. CWS MTO 
400.6 Replacement and Maint Factors. (7) Ltr, CG SOS NATOUSA to CG NATOUSA, 3 Feb 44, 
sub: Replacement of 4.2-inch Cml Mortar Parts. SOS NATOUSA 472.4 in CWS MTO 400.6 
Replacement Factors. 

ns Col Rockwood, CmlO SOS NATOUSA to CG NATOUSA (attn; CmlO), 1 Feb 44, sub: Sup 
Procedure of 4.2-inch Cml Mortar. SOS CWS 3 19. 1/48 in CWS MTO 400 Supply of Base Sees, 
Units, etc. 

118 For discussion of the spare parts situ ation in the zone of interior, see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, 
From Laboratory to Field, [Chapter XIII. | 

117 (1) Ammunition Sup Rpt, Monthly, 1944-4^ (2) IOM, Col Walter A. Guild, CCmlO 
NATOUSA for ACofS G- 4 MTOUSA, 29 Oct 45, sub: CWS Sup Methods. CWS MTO 400 Supplies, 
Servs and Equip. 



number of ammunition dumps destroyed by enemy action. Fifth Army 
chemical officers improvised ammunition protection by bulldozing 
earth over stacked ammunition boxes. 118 The parts situation on the 
other hand became so critical that Barker, acting in the spirit of 
General Clark's instruction to give the combat commanders what 
they wanted even if it was necessary to manufacture the material, 
in December 1943 joined the Fifth Army ordnance officer in re- 
establishing operations at the Italian Capua arsenal. 

At Capua a composite Fifth Army chemical group and nearly 1,000 
Italian workmen under the direction of 1st Lt. Anthony Notorangelo 
cast and machined mortar and smoke generator parts. The "Capua" 
mortar slide, cast from Italian navy bronze taken from the Naples 
harbor, was considered superior to the stateside product, as was the 
"Capua" integrally cast barrel cap and firing pin. For some time in 
1944 more than half of the mortar and smoke generator maintenance 
supplies used were made in Italy at Capua and in chemical service unit 
shops at Florence and Leghorn. After Fifth Army moved on, Penin- 
sular Base Section assumed the job of operating the CWS half of 
Capua arsenal with Lieutenant Notorangelo remaining in charge. 119 

In August of 1944, the Army Service Forces promised an adequate 
stock of spare parts within the next six months. 120 Also in August the 
theater formulated, and in September put into practice, an individual 
CWS NATOUSA spare parts policy, concentrating supply and control 
of spare parts in Peninsular and Delta Base Sections. 121 But, as the 
investigations of a CWS spare parts team from December 1944 to 
February 1945 demonstrated, the Mediterranean theater CWS never 
reached the goal of adequate parts stockage. 122 

Despite these handicaps, the chemical mortar battalions in the North 
African-Mediterranean theater reported only one instance when mortar 
fire was actually curtailed because of the shortage of weapons, parts, 
or ammunition. 123 That there was only one such instance, in this case 

118 Barker Comments, 1 5 Dec 60. 

119 (1) Col. Maurice E. Barker, USA (Ret.) "War Is Not All Fighting," Armed Forces Chemical 
Journal, VII (October, i9n)> 16-19, 17. (2) Barker to Hist Off, 11 Aug 59. (3) Coblentz to Hist 
Off, 17 Aug J?. 

120 Ltr, Actg Dir Plans and Opns ASF to CG SOS NATOUSA, 25 Aug 44, sub: Theaters Plans for 
Cml Warfare. ASF SPOPP 381 in file CWS MTO 381 Theater Plans for CW. 

121 SOS NATOUSA, Cir 109, 26 Sep 44. 

ifOCCWS, Final Rpt, CWS Spare Parts Team in MTO and ETO, 19 Jun 45. (2) See below, Chapter 

1V.I (3) Statistical Summary, 30 Jun, 3 1 Aug 44. 

133 History of 3d Cml Mortar Bn, Nov 43, Journal of Co D, 29-30 Nov 43. 



an ammunition shortage, is a testimonial to the ingenuity and energy 
of theater chemical officers who manufactured parts, as at Capua, and 
arranged for welding teams to repair broken weapons right in the 
front-line mortar positions. 124 Thus the most serious supply threat to 
CWS operations in the theater was met. 

There were shortages besides those of weapons and ammunition, but 
none so critical. An example of such shortages was the power-driven 
decontaminating apparatus, which was diverted from its gas warfare 
role to water carrying, fire fighting, and providing showers. 125 It was 
this type of apparatus that was used to provide all the water for the 
city of Naples during the first ten days after Allied forces took the 
city because the Germans had cut off the water supply and the Army 
engineers were unable to re-establish service immediately. The high- 
pressure pump on the apparatus was also used to open sewage drains 
which had dried up and become clogged because of the lack of water. 
The apparatus, using a chloride of lime mixture spray, was also used 
to disinfect and delouse buildings subsequently used as hospitals and 
barracks. 126 

The Twelfth Air Force considered the provision of showers for 
combat pilots returning from missions essential to morale and efficiency, 
but only in rare cases was it able to acquire engineer or quartermaster 
shower facilities. Consequently, the power-driven decontaminating 
apparatus became the most jealously guarded item of chemical equip- 
ment allotted to the air force. Stocks of the truck-mounted M3A1 
apparatus were low when supply status was first reported in May 1943, 
and by the end of July the air forces were forty short. Accounting 
for these had been transferred to the materiel status report, indicating 
that supply was automatic. Despite automatic supply, the total theater 
stockage in November was only about 80 percent of authorization and 
demand had increased so much in the Twelfth Air Force that the 
AFSC chemical officer maintained a waiting list for issues. At one 
time the Commanding General, XII AFSC, personally assumed re- 
sponsibility for distribution within his command. The AFSC chemical 

124 Wilson Interv, 16 Oct 58. 

VJS (1) Postscript on Ltr, Barker to Porter, 27 Feb 43. CWS 314.7 Barker Corresp, NATO, 1942-43. 
(2) Barker, "War Is Not All Fighting, " Armed Forces Chemical Journal, VII (October, 195 j), 
16-19, 27. 

13a Coblentz Comments, 9 Jan 61. 



Decontamination Unit Functioning as a Shower 

officer secured copies of ship manifests from SOS and base section 
chemical officers so that he could have someone on hand to claim the 
air force allotment as soon as the ship carrying the cargo docked. 
Since the apparatus was also one of the items which presented almost 
insuperable maintenance problems, supply was frequently complicated 
by a large number of apparatus deadlined for repairs. In the month 
before V-E Day the theater at last reached its quota of apparatus. 127 

Maintenance Problems 

Chemical maintenance officers, like many others, got their first real 
experience and learned their first logistics lessons in the Mediterranean 
area. For one thing, the Mediterranean campaigns were among the 
earliest of World War II, and in many instances the latest refinements 
in equipment and materiel did not arrive there until after the peak 
of combat activity. Then, too, adverse conditions, such as the damp 
climate and rough terrain in Italy, made faults and defects far more 
serious than they would have been elsewhere. Maintenance problems 

m {i) Statistical Summary, 31 May, 31 Jul 43, 25 Nov 43. (2) Sup Status of CWS Protective 
Materiel in MTO. (3) Capone Interv, 24 Apr 58. 



had their greatest impact in the forward areas where weapons, equip- 
ment, and ammunition saw the heaviest use and where, by the time 
they reached these positions, they had been heavily exposed to weather 
and rough handling. Again chemical officers were forced to reorient 
their thinking — repair, renovation, and rebuilding of materiel and 
equipment had to take place wherever feasible and wherever needed 
rather than, as planned, in some rear area shop. Again, improvisation 
was the order of the day. 

Theater chemical officers found maintenance and repair of the 
power-driven decontaminating apparatus only one of their extremely 
difficult maintenance problems. In the case of the apparatus the prime 
difficulty was caused by the fact that four different manufacturers 
produced the equipment, essentially a truck-mounted orchard 
sprayer. 128 Each manufacturer produced an item according to his own 
specifications with the result that four stocks of spare parts had to 
be maintained and that operating instructions varied according to the 
product used. This situation was further complicated by the fact that 
another apparatus mounted on skids rather than on a truck was also 
supplied to the theater. The skid-mounted apparatus early proved 
unsatisfactory because shortage of trucks made it immobile and mo- 
bility was of great importance either for primary or secondary missions. 
Depending on the local situation, maintenance and repair of the appa- 
ratus was performed by using units or by chemical and ordnance 
maintenance companies. Although the spare parts problem was largely 
solved by the end of 1944, theater distribution of parts remained 
difficult. The SOS (COMZ) Chemical Section sometimes found itself 
in the peculiar situation of dealing with an overage of spare parts, 
especially small items such as nuts and bolts, interchangeable among 
apparatus, while field units failed in attempts to acquire an adequate 
supply of the more critical parts which were not interchangeable. 129 

138 For an account of development and procurement, see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From Labora- 
tory to Field, \ch. XIV, | 

lw (1) Capone Interv, 24 Apr yfi. (2) Padlon-McCormick Rpt, 24 Feb 44. (j) Brig Gen William 
C Kabrich, Chief Tech Div OCCVS, and Maj Francis B. Stewart [to CCWS], n.d., Rpt of Inspection 
Trip to NATO, 22 Feb-3 Apr 44. CWS 314.7 Observer Rpts. (4) Ltr, AG Delta Base Sec to CG 
COMZ MTOUSA, 19 Nov 44, sub: Study To Determine Necessary Replacement of CWS Major Items 
of Equip. DBS AG 400.61 (DBSCW) in CWS MTO 400.6 Reclamations and Replacements, (5) 
Ltr, AG MBS to CG MTOUSA, 19 Nov 44, sub: Study To Determine Necessary Replacement of CVS 
Major Items of Equipment. MBS AG 47 (BMCML) in same file as (4), above. (6) Ltr, Shadle, 
CCmlO MTO, to CC\fS f 22 Dec 44, sub: Rpt of Study To Determine Necessary Replacement of 
CWS Major Items of Equip. CWS MTO 400.6 CWS. (7) Klaswick Interv, 6 Mar 59. 



While the problem of maintaining the decontaminating apparatus 
was tied in with the problem of shortages, maintenance of 4. 2 -inch 
mortar shell and its propellant charges — in many ways the most critical 
theater maintenance problem — was complicated by problems of ammu- 
nition shortages, provision of service troops, packing and packaging, 
and poor condition of supplies and equipment. Experience in the 
maintenance of mortar shell is illustrative of similar experience with 
Mi and M4 smoke pots, grenades, bombs and clusters, and gas masks. 
From the outset of the Sicily Campaign, the Seventh Army Chemical 
Section discovered chemical mortar shells in need of reconditioning. 
The shells were corroded as a result of becoming wet while poorly 
packaged. The 12th Chemical Maintenance Company, which was 
attached to Seventh Army for the campaign, was assigned the respon- 
sibility of renovating and repacking shells in addition to its supply 
and mortar repair duties. 130 In the campaign on the Italian mainland 
the situation was worse. Shell cartridges and fuzes proved to be 
defective, shells needed cleaning, and, as Barker reported, "the powder 
came in wet and got wetter." 131 Barker set up a drying operation for 
propellant charges at the army supply point, and Coblentz started 
another at the base section. Both used blowers from collective pro- 
tectors to force air through a heater fabricated from a 55 -gallon drum. 
The charges were hung on wooden rods in a box through which the 
hot air passed. After the charges were thoroughly dry, the maintenance 
crews replaced them in their original "ice cream" cartons and then 
packed the cartons in German shell containers which were sealed to 
be opened only at the mortar position. German containers were so 
prized that Fifth Army Chemical Section made it a regular practice 
to scavenge the battlefield for these items on the heels of the retreating 
enemy. 132 The drying operation was carried on at Naples in a series of 
caves which the Germans had used for ammunition storage. A serious 
fire, later attributed to an unknown store of German ammunition, 
broke out in the caves and the fire and the explosions which followed 
destroyed so many rounds of mortar shell, so many smoke pots, incen- 
diary grenades, gas masks, and other chemical supplies that Fifth Army 
was short until resupply could be effected. Coblentz resumed propel- 

Humphrevtlle, Rpt of Cml Warfare Opns, Sicilian Campaign. 

Personal Ltr, Barker to Shadle, 20 Dec 45. CWS 314.7 Pers files, NATO. 

(1) Ibid. (2) Barker to Hist Off, 11 Aug 59. 



lant drying operations on the new supply with an improved steam coil 
dryer. 1 * 3 

The number of bad fuzes which caused premature shell explosions 
plagued both CWS and Ordnance throughout the war. During the 
winter of 1943-44, Barker was forced to set up a line near San Pietro, 
Italy, to disassemble all chemical mortar shell fuzes and check and 
clean the components. Coblentz later established a similar line at 
Naples. 134 

Meanwhile, the OCCWS made strenuous efforts to improve the 
ammunition and the packing and packaging. 133 A new cartridge was 
provided. On r August 1943 ASF adopted a new method of packing 
in which two unassembled rounds coated with cosmoline or a corrosion 
preventative and with noses covered by vinylite sacks were packed in 
a stained wooden box. 136 Propellant charges and cartridges were packed 
in sealed waterproof tin cans. A final packing method was developed 
for all shipments after 1 February 1944 whereby the assembled round 
was sealed in a laminated fiber cylinder before being packed in the 
box. 137 These packing methods lessened theater problems with respect 
to newly received shell except when shipping damage resulted in leak- 
ing containers or when shell was reclaimed or repacked in the theater. 138 

The 76 officers and 575 enlisted men of the CWS in North Africa 
by the end of December 1942 knew their mission — to prepare for the 
eventuality of gas warfare, to provide artificial smoke concealment, and 
to support combat troops with chemical weapons and equipment — but 
few of these men could have had much conception of what the mission 
involved or how they were to accomplish it. 139 They had no toxics and 
no means to use them. The mechanical smoke generator was a new 

133 (1) Barker Comments, iy Dec 60. (2) Coblentz Comments, 9 Jan 61* 
131 Barker Comments, iy Dec 60. 

138 For general packaging improvement, see Brophv, <Miles, and Cochrane, From Laboratory to Field, 
|ch. XVI. I 

186 Fifth Army Peninsular Base Section earlier sprayed white pine ammunition boxes with a tar mixture 
so that they could more readily be camouflaged in forward positions (Coblentz Comments, 9 Jan 61). 

w (1) Personal Ltr, Porter to Shadle, j Feb 44. CWS 314.7 Pers Files, NATO. (2) IOM, Col 
B. L. Neis, Chief Conservation Br ASF, for Dir of Materiel ASF, 9 Feb 44, sub: Extracts from History 
of 2d Cml Bn in Sicilian and Part of Italian Campaigns, 1 May to 9 Sep 43, Commencing Upon Pack- 
aging 4-i-inch Cml Mortar Ammunition. ASF SPUPC 4051, in files Off Dir of Materiel ASF. 

138 Such difficulties are illustrated in Proceedings, Board of Investigation, Lt Col Lawrence M. Hoover, 
President, Hq Fwd Echelon PBS, 2 Oct 44. CWS MTO Folder ioo Accidental Explosion of 4.2-inch 
HE Shell in MTO. 

188 For strength figures, sec Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War, |app. A. | 



item unfamiliar to most men of the CWS. The 4.2-inch chemical 
mortar had not yet been officially recognized as a weapon which could 
fire high explosives, and, in any case, there were neither mortar units 
nor mortars in North Africa at the time. Some of the officers who 
had come from England and a few from the United States were ac- 
quainted with incendiary bombs, but not even all of these few had 
seen such bombs or knew of the existence of the portable flame thrower. 
Organizationally, the man who was soon to be theater chief chemical 
officer then occupied a supreme headquarters position, as AFHQ chem- 
ical officer, which was unlike any position ever held by or planned for 
any chemical officer. No field army chemical section had been organ- 
ized overseas since World War L Supply procedures, still in the process 
of formulation late in 1942, were known but vaguely if at all. 

In this situation it is not strange that not only did an autonomous 
CWS develop in the Mediterranean area but also that each element 
of it developed its own independence. Such independence was en- 
couraged by Shadle who believed in the importance of his staff 
function and preferred to give strong field elements their head. The 
organizational situation was, in turn, excellent seed ground for the 
development of two chemical supply systems, one oriented toward 
impetus from the front and the other toward impetus from the rear. 

In the final analysis, the CWS in the North African-Mediterranean 
theater accomplished its tasks and that accomplishment was largely 
the product of great independence of spirit and a great willingness of 
chemical officers and men at all levels to improvise and innovate — to 
adapt the procedures and the equipment and the organization as each 
new situation demanded. 


Theater Supply: Europe 

Evolving the Theater CWS Supply System 

European Theater — The Strategic and Logistical Pattern 

The theater environment in which the Chemical Warfare Service, 
European Theater of Operations, performed its supply tasks was 
unusual in that the theater, after remaining uninvolved in ground 
combat for nearly a year, directed the largest combat effort of the war. 
While the Army Air Forces was on the offensive in several overseas 
areas and the Navy was strategically and tactically involved in the 
Pacific early in the war, the ETO ground forces in 1944 were still 
striving to build up launching places for assaults. In the Pacific the 
ground assaults began in August of 1942 and continued in November 
in North Africa. At the end of June 1943 General MacArthur 
launched his broad-scale offensive in the Southwest Pacific, and by 
early winter the ground forces were fighting in the middle Pacific atolls. 
The European theater, activated in June 1942, had theoretically been 
responsible for early operations in North Africa, but the whole theater 
organization had been primarily devoted, from the U.S. Army point 
of view, to the conversion of the British Isles into a vast supply base 
for the greatest ground offensive of the war. Two years, lacking a 
few days, elapsed between activation of the theater and the initiation 
of that offensive. During those two years the theater, and the Chemical 
Warfare Service within the theater, built up the most comprehensive 
overseas supply operation of the war. Under such circumstances it 
would seem axiomatic that theater control of the technical services 
would be more encompassing than in any other theater. The fact of 
the matter is that the CWS ETO was the most independent of all 
overseas CWS organizations. The CWS ETO developed a supply 



system unlike any other in the European theater and unlike that of 
any other CWS organization in any theater, although some supply 
problems and their solutions were markedly similar to those of the 

The CWS ETO was the largest overseas organization of the service. 
The extent of CWS activity is shown by the fact that, at peak 
strength, the number of CWS officers and men in the theater was 
nearly twice as great as in any other theater or overseas area, 1 The 
service supplied every individual in this, the theater with the greatest 
total strength, with complete gas warfare protection. And, although 
chemical mortars were in action almost a year longer in the North 
African-Mediterranean theater, the sixteen mortar battalions in the 
ETO expended nearly twice as much ammunition as did those in the 
Mediterranean. 2 CWS ETO officers forecast the demands of this supply 
job in terms of procedures which must be developed almost immediately 
after establishment of a theater headquarters. 

Supply Role of the Chief, CWS ETO 

Soon after the activation of the theater and its special staff agencies, 
Captain LeRoy, acting chief of the Storage and Issue Section of the 
Supply Division, Office of the Chief, CWS ETO, laid the groundwork 
for the CWS ETO supply system. Introducing the medium which 
remained throughout the war as the principal means of disseminating 
supply instructions, CWS ETO supply circular letters, LeRoy, by 
authority of Colonel Montgomery, then Chief, CWS ETO, briefed 
chemical supply officers on their duties and responsibilities and on the 
theater chemical supply procedures. This initial supply circular letter 
indicated that the Chief, CWS ETO, would: (i) exercise technical 
control over CWS depots and chemical sections of general depots; 
(2) set chemical stock levels for the theater; (3) allocate credits to 
major theater commands; 3 (4) distribute stocks arriving from the 

1 For a comparison of CWS theater strengths, see Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War, lAppendix A J 

2 (1) Ammunition Sup Rpt, 31 Jul 45. This was a feeder report prepared in OCCWS for the ASF 
monthly progress report. (2) Ltr, CG ASF to CofOrd and CCWS, 3 Nov 43, sub: Instructions for 
Preparation of Ammunition Sup of MPR. ASF SPX 319. 1 (30 Oct 43) OB-P-SPDDL-MB-A. 

3 "A credit consists of a notification to a Headquarters that specific items are available in definite 
quantities in a specified depot subject to requisition [draft] by the Headquarters for whom the credit is 
established. Materials which have been credited to a Headquarters may be withdrawn at the discretion 
of the using Headquarters without reference to Tables of Basic Allowances or Tables of Allowances." 
In CWS ETO Sup Circ Ltr 1, 30 Jul 42. CWS ETO 300.4/1 (26-7-42)50. In ETO Admin J45A. 



ports of debarkation among the depots; (5) order interdepot transfers; 
(6) determine stock reporting and recording procedures; (7) receive 
requests for supplies and services required for depot operations when 
not available locally; and (8) provide policy for and control over 
chemical service operations. The depot commanders or chemical supply 
officers were charged with operating the depots, supervising service 
operations, securing transportation not otherwise provided, and re- 
porting to the Chief, CWS ETO. 4 

The chemical supply officers of the chemical supply sections which 
had been established on u July 1942 in general depots at Ashchurch 
and Bristol in Gloucestershire, at Thatcham in Berkshire, and at 
Taunton in Somersetshire, and the commanding officers of chemical 
depots which had been activated on 15 July at Savernake Forest in 
Wiltshire and at Marston Magna in Somersetshire received these in- 
structions, but lacked the means to comply. It was late in August 
before the 6th Chemical Depot Company and the jist Chemical Im- 
pregnating Company, the only chemical service units in the theater, 
could provide sufficient men to carry out the operating instructions. 5 

Supply Status, July-December 1942 

There was in any case not a large quantity of supply with which 
to operate. By the end of July, the total accumulation of all supplies 
in the theater amounted to only 181,979 l° n S tons, and, judging from 
the CWS portion of total supply arriving in the theater during the 
first year, CWS stockages could hardly have exceeded 2,000 tons. 6 
The 10 August 1942 ETO materiel status report indicates the CWS 
had received a smaller proportion — 69 percent — of its authorized 
supplies than any other service in the theater. Detailed listings in the 
same report reveal that fewer than half the number of service gas 
masks authorized was available. 7 

By the end of September, the CWS ETO reported the supply pros- 
pects as encouraging, but the actual status of stocks had not improved. 
The average number of days of combat maintenance of all items was 

4 (1) History, Sup Div, 42-43. (1) CWS ETO Sup Circ Ltr 1, 30 Jul 42. CWS ETO 300.4/1 
(26-7~42)SD. (3) History, Sup System. 

5 (1) History of CWS Depot Installation in the ETO, CWS ETO (May 42-Dec 43), ETO Admin 
545A. (2) History, 6th Cml Depot. (3) History of the yist Cml Processing Co. 

6 (1) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, J, 103. (2) Transportation Service ETO, Rpt, U.S. Army 
Cargo Arrivals— UK: Percentage Composition by Serv, 10 Jan 44. ETO Admin 424. 

7 Msg, S724, CG SOS ETO (G- 4 ) to AG WAR, 10 Aug 42. ETO Admin 311A. 



24, but in view of the imbalance of stocks, ranging from 873 days 
for the gas alarm to zero days for vesicant detector crayon, the 
average was not significant. The significant fact was that even based 
on a troop strength of 217,123 then reported in the United Kingdom, 
there was a serious shortage of both individual and collective protection 
items, such as the gas mask and the portable decontaminating appa- 
ratus. This strength was slightly more than half the strength, 427,000, 
for which ETO planners set requirements in the same month. The 
real CWS supply level was estimated at 12 days for Class II (general 
supplies issued against established allowances) items and practically 
nil for all other classes. This real level was not more than one-sixth 
of the lowest authorized theater supply level computed on the 427,000 
strength figure for 60 days of supply. The figure for the number of 
days of supply fluctuated from 60 to 90 days in the several versions of 
the theater plan formulated in the fall of 1942. 8 The quantity of supply 
immediately available was critically low. Yet, the ETO was then 
primarily a planning theater, and CWS ETO officers took the long- 
range view that the immediate problem of supply shortages was im- 
portant only insofar as the shortages reflected the need for planning 
to meet the ultimate goal — supplying the theater at full strength. 

Major Hayes, Chief, Requirements Division, CWS ETO, stated in 
the October supply report to the War Department that the immediate 
supply shortage resulted from the necessity for filling initial shortages 
for all units and organizations in and arriving in the United Kingdom. 
Filling initial shortages depleted stocks much more rapidly than re- 
placing normal consumption, and Major Hayes was anxious to know 
if plans should provide for the greater issue rate. If so, he pointed out, 
the CWS ETO planners would have to know the approximate extent 
of shortages among arriving troops. The CWS ETO was in a poor 
position to forecast issue requirements even if only normal replacement 
supply would be required. Planners did not know the theater priority 
for supply, nor did they know how much shipping tonnage would be 
allocated to CWS supply and how much of that allocation might be 
lost because of extensive enemy submarine warfare. Further, they 
had not been informed whether CWS ETO requisitions would be hon- 
ored in the United States, and they had received no information on 

* (1) Actg CCWS Hq SOS ETOUSA to ACofS G- 4 WDGS, thru channels, Initial G- 4 Per Rpt, 
From Arrival in Theater to 30 Sep 42, 2400 Hours, 1 Oct 42 (hereafter cited as G-4 Rept, 1 Oct 42). 
CWS 319. 1/3040 1942. (2) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, 103-oy. 



the War Department ammunition supply policy. Apparently the 
failure to provide information extended even to their own theater 
headquarters. At the end of September, the CWS ETO was still plan- 
ning on a 180-day level of supply for Class II instead of on the 90- to 
60-day level mentioned above. 9 Hayes urged the War Department to 
provide requirements information at once since, despite the lack of 
supplies, supply officers were convinced that the Bolero and Roundup 
build-ups would result in the theater having to handle vast quantities 
of materials within a few months. 10 

The CWS Credit System 

Anticipating a greatly increased workload, CWS supply officers bent 
their efforts to turning out a comprehensive supply plan. The com- 
pleted plan made the Chief, CWS ETO, as stated above, directly 
responsible for stating requirements and preparing theater requisitions 
on the United States and for supervising the receipt and storage of 
goods. In handling the third element of the supply system, distribu- 
tion, LeRoy realized that the small number of men and the lack of 
available facilities meant that distribution would have to be decentral- 
ized for efficient operation. He accordingly based the distribution 
system on the allocation of supply credits. The allocation of supply 
credits to using units and organizations was an established War De- 
partment procedure which the CWS in the United States had incor- 
porated into its supply manual. 11 Credit allocations were made spo- 
radically throughout the Army's distribution system and in many 
cases, as in corps area distribution in the United States, these allocations 
were used early in the war to establish quota distributions for short 
supply items of lesser importance than controlled items. 12 

The CWS ETO anticipated a credit-employment trend in the 
United States by using the credit system to govern the issue of con- 

*G-4 Rpt, 1 Oct 42. 

10 Roundup was an Allied plan for a cross-Channel attack in 194J. Bolero was a more encompassing 
plan for building up Allied strength in the British Isles for continental invasion and follow-through. 
The two plans were complementary until Torch (the North African plan) outmoded Roundup. 
Bolero continued, through many modifications, as the build-up plan. Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, 
1, ch. II. 

11 (1) FM 100-10, 9 Dec 40. Revised 15 Nov 43. (2) FM 3-1 y, CWS, 17 Feb 41. 

u Controlled items were scarce and important items whose issue was controlled by the War Depart- 
ment (OPD and/or ASF) on a priority or urgency basis. Leighton and Coakley, Global Logistics and 
Strategy, 1940-43, p. 304. 



trolled as well as less important items when, as early as 31 July 1942, 
they made all Class II noncontrolled items and the majority of Class II 
controlled items subject to credit allocations. Theater requirements 
for Class IV (special supplies outside regular allowances) items were 
not firm enough to warrant credit allocations, but procedures were 
adopted to place ammunition (Class V) on credit in accordance with 
authorized training allowances whenever a sufficient supply became 
available. 13 Total stocks of air chemical Class V were credited to the 
Eighth Air Force from the inception of the system. 14 The CWS ETO 
thus inaugurated the only comprehensive credit distribution system 
to be used in the theater. 

Although administrative arrangements for the CWS ETO issue 
system were complete by the end of July 1942, operating difficulties 
prevented more than token allotment of credits during the remainder 
of the year. The first of these difficulties arose because there was too 
small a staff at all levels of theater organization to manage the system. 
The great advantage in the credit issue system was that only one action, 
the allocation of credits, had to be performed at theater or SOS head- 
quarters level; the responsibility for requesting allocations and for 
receiving issues from depots lay with major commands subordinate 
to the theater commander. Issuing allocations to minor commands 
would have involved theater headquarters in so much detail that the 
purpose of decentralizing supply operations would have been defeated. 
Throughout 1942, there were insufficient numbers of chemical supply 
management officers at the subordinate major command levels to 
handle the workload for their commands. The planned use of the new 
base section organizations for area distribution of chemical supplies to 
SOS units was likewise thwarted by the lack of chemical manpower. 15 
The expected major ground forces command comparable to Army 
Ground Forces in the United States was never organized in the theater, 
and no acceptable alternative co-ordinating command was available 
until the activation of an army group headquarters late in 1943- 
Although the Eighth Air Force became operational in August 1942 
and although a bulk Class V credit was issued, the air force head- 

1S (1) Ibid., pp. 303-04. (2) History, Sup System. (3) CWS ETO Sup Circ Ltr 4, 31 Jul 42. 
CWS ETO 400-35 (28-7-42)SD. (4) G-4 Rpt, 1 Oct 42. 

14 For more information on air chemical ammunition, see below, |pp. 149-63.I 

14 The Eastern, Western, Southern, and Northern Ireland Base Sections were organized by SOS ETO 
on 20 July 1942, but only with skeleton staffing, Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, /, 84-85. 



quarters, which served as the theater air command, was not well enough 
organized for the next several months to handle the issue accounting 
problems which would result from crediting other supplies. 18 

The burden placed on the supply system by the requirements for 
Torch and the virtual suspension of the Bolero build-up resulted 
in a diversion of the supply effort from the long-range goal. Shipments 
earmarked for Torch began to replace Bolero shipments in August. 
In the ensuing three months almost the entire theater supply effort 
was directed toward equipping units alerted for the Torch operation 
and, for two months thereafter, to setting up maintenance shipments 
for North Africa. The seriousness of the supply situation was greatly 
aggravated. The CWS ETO participated in the Torch effort by 
assuming the burden of detailed supply operations which included 
receiving unit requisitions from alerted units, extracting requisition 
items to the depots where stock was known to exist, and conducting 
unit "show down" inspections to determine if requisitions had been 
placed for basic equipment and if supplies had been received. To speed 
up and to simplify the actual details of requesting and handling 
materials, Captain LeRoy's section devised a multicarbon single control 
form which could be used as a requisition, tally sheet, packing slip, 
bill of lading, and notice of receipt. A Control Division, SOS, officer 
visiting in the ETO saw the CWS forms in Supply Division, CWS ETO, 
and took a number of them to Washington with him. About six 
months later ASF published a "War Department Shipping Document" 
which was similar to the CWS ETO form. 17 

Some conception of the magnitude of the Torch supply tasks can 
be derived from the fact that 10,020 U.S. troops sailed as part of 
Eastern Task Force and 70,800 as part of Center Task Force in convoys 
originating in the United Kingdom. Many of these troops had to be 
equipped in part and almost all had to be inspected in the United 
Kingdom. Also, the War Department directed the European theater 
to set up twenty-two maintenance shipments of CWS supplies totaling 
3,133 deadweight tons to be sent in twelve North African resupply 

" (1) History, Sup System. (2) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, J, 84-85, 202-03. (3) Wesley F. 
Craven and James L. Cate, eds., "The Army Air Forces in World War II," vol. II, Europe: TORCH to 
POINTBLANK, August 1942 to December 1943 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949), pp. 
210-11, 216. (4) History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. 

" (1) History, Sup System. (2) Interv, Hist Off with Col LeRoy, 17 Apr 52. (j) WD SM 3 8 -4°*» 
Jul 43- 



convoys between November 1942 and February 1943. 18 Despite the 
amount of this work, or perhaps because of it, the headquarters supply 
officers were unaware of the inroads Torch was making into Bolero. 
The CWS ETO supply policy consequently remained unchanged and, 
indeed, supply officers found it possible to issue twenty credits for 
local supply during the second half of calendar year 1942. 19 

Logistical Data 

While theater stocks were virtually exhausted when the ETO was 
finally relieved of responsibility for North Africa in February 1943, 
it was probably fortunate that there had been no change in CWS ETO 
supply policy. The Allied leaders agreed at the Casablanca Conference 
in January 1943 to reinstate Bolero and, at the Trident Conference in 
Washington in May, they set targets for an approximately i.j -million 
troop strength to be ready for a cross-Channel operation about 1 May 
1944. The CWS system, which had been predicated on such a build-up, 
was therefore ready to go into more extensive operation when, about 
the middle of 1943, Bolero moved from crawl to sprint. But, in the 
meantime, from November 1942 to May 1943, the theater staff, in- 
cluding the CWS, had not been idle. The theater and SOS general 
staffs drew up detailed plans of troop requirements to be used when 
the order to proceed with the build-up was received, and they decided 
how to allot forces for the air and supply effort and the eventual ground 
effort. The G-4, SOS, compiled basic logistical planning factors, such 
as required storage space per 1,000 men per 30 days' maintenance and 
tonnage per day required to support given strengths. Colonel LeRoy, 
now chief of the Supply Division, CWS ETO, realized that these 
computations prepared at higher echelons would have little meaning 
for the CWS as long as they lacked basic logistical data for CWS 
items. 20 The information which Hayes had urgently requested from 
the United States in October had not yet been received since it was not 

u (1) History, Sup System. (2) History of CWS ETO Statistical Summaries. ETO Admin 54*A. 
(3) Leighton and Coakley, Global Logistics ami Strategy, 1^40-4}, p. 437, (4) Howe, Northwest 
Africa, (y) Rowan Comments, 16 Dec 60. 

19 (1) History, Sup System. (2) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, /, 87-1 13. 

20 LeRoy was acting chief of the Storage and Issue Section, Supply Division, from 27 July to 19 
September 1942 and executive ofiicer from that time until 5 December; he was acting chief of the Supply 
Division from December 1942 to 17 February 1943, then on temporary duty in the United States until 
4 April 1943 when, now a lieutenant colonel, he returned to the theater as chief of the Supply Division; 
on 26 October 1943 he was reassigned and sent to the United States. 



then available in the United States. Preparations for the Torch opera- 
tion had made CWS ETO planners understand how essential such 
logistical data were for adequate supply planning. LeRoy accordingly 
embarked on an extensive project for the assembly of CWS logistical 
data. 21 

The job done by Colonel LeRoy and the members of the Supply 
Division on CWS logistical data was monumental. The work was 
begun in December 1942, and distribution of the initial portions took 
place in February and March 1943. In June 1943 the CWS ETO sent 
out a complete set of compiled tables for the guidance of all supply 
officers and of chemical officers at all echelons of command. The 
compilation was divided into four sections. The first section provided 
basic data, a list of all items for which the CWS had procurement, 
storage, and issue responsibilities together with correct nomenclatures, 
types of packaging, unit and package weights and cubages, storage and 
shipping factors, and a list of all British and American cargo vehicles 
and railway cars which showed weight and load limit and cargo meas- 
urement for each type. The second section set forth the basis for 
computing requirements, giving consolidated chemical supply listings 
from tables of basic allowances, tables of allowances, tables of organiza- 
tion and equipment, and lists of chemical expendable supplies. This 
section also listed the basis for issue of ammunition and gave established 
units of fire, days of supply, and replacement factors on specific items. 
In the third section the logistic requirements of each type of organiza- 
tion in the Army were analyzed in terms of initial issue of chemical 
materiel, and the weight and cubage of each item authorized were 
given together with total weights and cubages converted into total 
tonnage and shipping space needed. Such special logistic problems as 
the supply of impregnating materials and the proper calculation of 
payloads per aircraft for chemical or incendiary aerial bombardment 
were set forth in detail in the fourth section. The compilation closed 
with a detailed account of the use of these data in planning operations. 
This invaluable compilation was amended many times as required by 
changes in equipment and organization, and an extensive revision was 
issued, section by section, in 1944. It was the foundation of all CWS 

21 (1) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, 1, 113-23. (2) History of CWS Logistics in the ETO (here- 
afte r cited as History, Logistics). (3) For logistical data problems in North Africa, see above, 
I Chapter HlTl 



ETO logistical planning throughout the war, even after the issuance 
of the CWS supply catalogs which covered some of the same area. 22 

The CWS ETO logistical data compilation served, on the one hand, 
as the basis for computing total theater chemical materiel requirements 
according to present or expected strengths, and on the other hand, as 
a source of shipment, storage, and distribution information, including 
a rapid means of calculating credit allocations once the materiel arrived 
in the theater. In March 1943 the decentralization of the supply dis- 
tribution process was encouraged by extending the credit allocation 
plan to cover all classes of supply. 23 While the basic credit system 
procedures were thus set, the CWS ETO was well aware of the fact 
that the system would be workable only when field elements were 
prepared for storage, issue, and accounting. 

Storage and Issue 

Storage and issue was one of the original CWS ETO problems. 
Supply authorities, as mentioned above, had a difficult time staffing the 
depots and depot sections. This problem was somewhat alleviated, at 
least in the management sphere, when supply officers arrived in Sep- 
tember 1942 to replace the troop officers who had been managing the 
depots and depot sections. This benefit was almost immediately can- 
celed out, however, by the transfer of some of these officers and most 
of the enlisted men to the North African forces then being assembled. 
The 6th Chemical Depot Company, the only such unit in the theater, 
also embarked for North Africa. The 51st Chemical Impregnating 
Company became the sole theater chemical service unit. The staff 
reduction was so drastic that the chemical section of the general depot 
at Taunton was left with one officer and no enlisted men, and the 
chemical section of the general depot at Thatcham with two officers 
and no enlisted men. The chemical section of the Ashchurch general 
depot had one officer and eleven enlisted men while the chemical section 

12 (1) History, Logistics. (2) Sup Div CWS SOS ETO, Cml Warfare Logistics, various portions 
dated from 1 Feb 43 to Jun 43. ETO Admin j 4 jA. (3) Sup Div OCCWO Hq SOS ETO and Hq 
COMZ ETO, CWS Logistics, various portions dated from, ij Jan 44 to 10 Aug 44. ETO Admin 544, 
(4) Sup Circ Ltr 31, CWS SOS ETO, 18 Mar 43, sub: Computation of Rqmts. SOSCW 471.6/51 
(ij Mar 4})SD. ETO Admin j 4 jA. (5) ASF Cml Warfare Sup Catalog, prepared by Field Rqmts 
Div OCCWS, 1 Apr 44. (This catalog is an assembly of various catalogs and lists on which publica- 
tion began 23 September 1943.) 

"Sup Circ Ltr 31, CWS SOS ETO, 18 Mar 43, 



in the Bristol general depot had two officers and six enlisted men. 24 The 
heavy demands of the Torch preparations could not have been met 
but for the help of British pioneer troops and civilians. The British 
could not provide manpower on a permanent basis since their own 
manpower shortages were severe and since they operated on a strict 
priority system. The labor problem was further complicated by a lack 
of facilities. Storage buildings provided were not well lighted, floors 
were rough and uneven, and in one of the designated locations the 
maximum safe floor load was so low as to preclude efficient storage 
operation. In another depot the chemical section was assigned space 
on the fifth floor of a building with only one small elevator. Only 
one depot possessed car-level loading platforms, and the lack of 
mechanized equipment and even roller conveyors meant that all 
lifting, loading, sorting, and stacking had to be performed manually. 
This bad situation was made worse by a lack of adequate communica- 
tions between the SOS headquarters, the ports, and the depots and, 
until January 1943, the absence of maintenance facilities. The one 
chemical maintenance company in the theater was being used in depot 
operation, and the second company did not arrive until November 
I943- 25 

The CWS ETO storage manpower situation reached a low in 
December of 1942. From the supply handling point of view it was 
fortunate that theater stocks were virtually exhausted and that few 
shipments were arriving. The 7th Chemical Depot Company arrived 
in the theater in December and by early January had been parceled 
out into detachments to operate the two chemical depots and four 
chemical sections of general depots which had been established six 
months earlier, and one general depot chemical section which had 
been established at Sudbury Egginton, Derby, Staffordshire, in De- 
cember. At the time these detachments were sent out, a new chemical 
depot, soon to be converted into a chemical section of an ordnance 
depot, was activated at Cinderford, Gloucestershire. Another general 

21 History of CWS Installations in the ETO, CWS ETO, Jul 42-Dec 44 (hereafter cited as History, 
Depot Installations). ETO Admin ;4fA. 

85 (1) History, Depot Installations. (2) Personal Lcr, Rowan to Waicc, 5 May 43. CWO-400/32 
Sec in CWS 314.7 Pers Files, ETO, Oct 42-Jan 44. (3) G-4 Rpt, 1 Oct 42. (4) For maintenance 
companies in the theater, see Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War,^hppend'ix H— <?| As indicated in 
Appendix H-7I one chemical maintenance company (aviation) arrived in the cheater in August 1943. 



depot chemical section was activated at Moneymore, Northern Ireland, 
before the end of January. 26 

While the Allied leaders had agreed in January to renew the Bolero 
build-up, tonnage arrivals remained light for the first three months of 
1943, the March incoming CWS shipments amounting to only 25 long 
tons. The April figure suddenly shot up to 826 long tons of CWS 
supplies, and, after the official rescheduling of Bolero targets in May, 
the June figure reached 4,004 long tons. 27 Such a cargo inflow was 
certainly more than one depot company could handle, particularly 
since work had been increased by the establishment of another chemical 
depot in Sudbury, Suffolk, on 1 June 1943. On 1 July 1943, the 
handling situation was relieved by the arrival of the 60th Chemical 
Depot Company. The two companies were then able to operate with 
a maximum of five detachments each. Incoming tonnage rates soared, 
plummeting occasionally, but reaching more than 9,000 tons in 
September, more than 12,000 in December, and a peak of 34,604 tons 
in June 1944. The handling situation would have grown rapidly 
worse again but for the arrival of new units and a comprehensive 
depot installation plan which had been laid down in May 1943. 28 

The unit complement for the build-up period in the British Isles 
was rounded out during the last six months of 1943. One chemical 
depot company (aviation) arrived in July and two in August. The 
65th Chemical Depot Company disembarked in England about 6 
October, and the 761st Chemical Depot Company (Aviation) followed 
a few days later. Three chemical depot companies, the 9th, the 61st, 
and the 64th, completed the list in November. Meanwhile, the SOS 
depot plan brought about the establishment of chemical sections in 
general depots at Barry, Glamorganshire, in July, and at Hilsea, Hamp- 
shire, at Westbury, Wiltshire, and at Histon, Cambridgeshire, in No- 
vember. Chemical ammunition depots were activated at Shepton 
Mallet, Somersetshire, and at Loton Deer Park, Alderbury, Shropshire, 
in November. From December 1943 until after the invasion of the 
Continent six months later, the CWS ETO, in 9 of the theater's 18 
general depots and in 6 of its 54 branch and ammunition depots, 
managed more than 700,000 square feet of closed storage space, more 

** History, Depot Installations. 

27 Summary of Army Cargo Arrivals by Port Area and Serv, Statistical Summary prepared by Program 
Div SOS ETO, n.d. ETO Admin 416. 

28 (1) Ibid. (1) History, Depot Installations. 



Chemical Warfare Depot, Loton Deer Park, England 

than one million square feet of open storage space, more than 50,000 
square feet of shop space, and space for 68,400 long tons of ammu- 
nition. 29 The CWS ETO stood fourth, approximately equal with the 
Engineers, among the technical services in operation of both closed 
and open space. The only service other than Ordnance and Engineers 
operating shop space and the only service other than Ordnance oper- 

20 (1) History, Depot Installations. Exact totals of storage space given are as follows: 

Closed space 
sq. ft. 

Open space 
sq. ft. 

Shop space 
sq. ft. 

Tons of 


7 32,006 



Branch and ammunition depots . 

293 ,000 

1 10,000 



(1) ICAF SR 46-8, Rpt of Committee on Production, Jan— Jun 1946 course, sub: Transportation, 
Storage, Packaging, cites report (of travel) of Col. A. B. Drake to the United Kingdom, 1943, which 
gives the following total figures for the CWS ETO: 

ft. . . 

ft. . . 

Ammunition dumps tons capacity . . 62,000 

(3) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support* I, 158. 



ating ammunition storage space, the CWS ETO was a poor second in 
these two categories. 30 

Air Chemical Supply 

After eighteen months of operations in the theater, the CWS ETO 
was at last in a position to handle supply adequately. Admirable pro- 
cedures had been established; facilities and installations were satisfac- 
tory if not ideal ; and sufficient manpower was available to implement 
the procedures and to staff the installations. Problems for the remaining 
six months of the build-up period, as well as for the major part of the 
subsequent operational period on the Continent, centered about the 
provision of specific items of supply and the operation of specific 
supply plans. The CWS ETO was not without experience in these 
problem areas. While most of the activities of the theater had been 
directed toward build-up, the CWS ETO had received its logistics 
baptism of fire in the preparations for the North African campaigns, 
and the steadily increasing combat activities of the Army Air Forces 
kept the theater in operational status throughout the build-up period. 
The CWS ETO was heavily involved in the Army Air Forces efforts 
for two reasons: ( i ) the CWS provided the incendiary and fire bombs 
which became major weapons for both bomber and fighter elements 
of the air arm; and (2) the greater part of the gas warfare retaliatory 
effort was to be concentrated in the air forces should the enemy initiate 
gas warfare. 31 

Founding the Air Chemical Supply System, ETO 

CWS computations of air chemical munitions requirements for the 
European theater were begun in the United States before the activation 
of the theater organization. Colonel Kellogg initiated the requirements 
work immediately upon his assignment as Eighth Air Force chemical 

*°The Drake report, cited above, lists: 

Closed space 

Open space 

Shop space 


sq. ft. 

sq. ft. 

sq. ft. 

(tons capacity) 





83 1,000 

1 2,236,000 




8 j,ooo 

81 For description of incendiary and fire bombs, see below, 

Chapter XVII. 



officer and the organization of his chemical section in April 1942. 
Colonel Kellogg's section, proceeding on inadequate data as to aircraft 
strength and capacity, submitted its requirements estimate for the 
second half of 1942 on 16 May, a few days before the Eighth Air 
Force headquarters moved to an overseas staging area. On reaching 
England in June, Colonel Kellogg realized that the probable inaccuracy 
of the May submission was not significant since there was little hope 
of acquiring any substantial stockage of munitions during 1942. 32 
He at once inaugurated a threefold program in the supply field. His 
objectives were: first, to secure materiel, such as gas defensive equip- 
ment, aerial incendiaries, toxics, and smoke munitions, from the 
United States, or, as an interim measure, from the British; second, 
to acquire or construct storage space for toxics and incendiaries; and 
third, to provide a firm basis for supply planning and requirements 
computations. 33 While the air forces in the theater, like the Army 
Air Forces headquarters in the United States, were tending to become 
independent in matters of supply, the whole CWS organization in the 
theater was vitally involved in all the elements of the Eighth Air Force 
program because the theater CWS was charged with co-ordination 
of all theater chemical warfare policy, including liaison with the 
British. Also, the SOS section of the CWS ETO was already providing 
storage for air chemical supplies and had begun, as noted above, to 
work on air chemical logistical data. 

The accomplishment of all phases of the Eighth Air Force chemical 
supply program was fraught with difficulties. The only incendiary 
bombs in production in the United States in this early period were 
the small 4-pound magnesium and steel case bombs. Most of the 
magnesium bombs were going to the British under lend-lease, and all 
production was slowed by the scarcity of magnesium. The steel case 
bomb was not an effective incendiary for use on many targets, and it 
was consequently rarely issued to the theaters of operations. The 

33 (i) History, Cml Sec Eighth AF.. (2) History, Hq Eighth AF, vol. II, pt. 2, 17 Aug 42 to 1 
May 43. Eighth AF 520.01-3B, 17 Aug 42-1 May 43. (3) For CWS organization in the ETO Army 
Air Forces, see above, |Chapter H.| 

83 (1) History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. (2) Capt John F. Crowther, Cml Sec Eighth AF, to Col 
Kellogg, CmlO Eighth AF, Staff Study, Study of Tactical Rqmts for New Types of Cml Bombs, 
27 Jul 42. Eighth AF 471.6 in app. C, History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. (3) Memo, CmlO Eighth AF for 
ACofS G-3 Eighth AF, it Aug 42, sub: Summary of Requests for Cml Warfare Servs Munitions. 
App. C, History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. (4) Memo, CmlO Eighth AF for CofS, ACsofS G-3, G-4 
Eighth AF, 28 Jul 42, sub: Conf With Principal RAF Officers of 42 Group, Reading, England. 
Eighth AF 519.225, 4 Jul 42-May 45. 



M47 i oo-pound bomb with an incendiary filling was satisfactory, but 
it was late in 1942 before a successful filling could be produced in 
quantity. 34 Quantity production of toxics was just beginning, and 
not even token shipments to the European theater were authorized 
until January 1943. 35 Defensive equipment and service supplies were 
no more available to the air forces than they were to the ground and 
service forces, and all stockages in and destined for the European 
theater were subject to the demands of the North African campaigns. 
Existing demands on the British supply system had reached monumental 
proportions, but the British were in a position to be of some assistance 
to the chemical preparedness of the United States forces. 

Air Toxic Supply 

The United Kingdom had the capacity to produce toxics, but pro- 
duction had almost come to a standstill for lack of containers in which 
to store the finished product. The small British supply of corrosion- 
resistant steel, the ideal container material, was diverted to other high- 
priority purposes. While the chances of obtaining such steel were 
slightly better in the United States, rigorous shipping priorities forbade 
the shipment of empty containers. 36 As to munitions for the delivery 
of toxics on the enemy, the United States had the M47 100-pound 
bomb which was considered to be satisfactory and which was available 
in limited quantities. The British had a 6 5 -pound and a 30-pound 
bomb, but the Eighth Air Force was skeptical about their usefulness; 
furthermore, the bombs did not lend themselves to economical opera- 
tional loading in American aircraft. Neither the United States nor 
Great Britain had a bomb cluster for toxics, but the British 250-pound 
bomb was considered acceptable pending the availability of larger 
bombs or clusters of smaller bombs. The British 500-pound bomb for 
filling with nonpersistent agents was considered so highly effective that 
air chemical officers requested a comparable American munition. Smoke 
tanks adaptable to aerial vesicant spray missions were the American 
500-pound, available in small quantities but virtually obsolete because 
of the scarcity of aircraft on which it could be carried, the American 

^See Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From Laboratory to Field jchs, VIIl| and |XV.| 
"Personal Ltr, Waite to Kellogg, n Jan 43. 

36 (i) Vaitt to Kellogg, 11 Jan 43. (1) Rpt of Visit of Col V. Hepburn Chamberlain and Capt 
John L. Armitage to ETO, 18 Mar 44 (hereafter cited as Chamberlain-Armitage Rpt). CVS 314*7 
Observer Rpts. 



2,000 pound, which was not expected to be available in quantity for 
some time, and the British 400-pound Flying Cow, a bomb which 
sprayed smoke or toxics when released from an airplane. The British 
were able to manufacture the Flying Cow for the American Air 
Forces, and it was consequently scheduled to be the mainstay of the 
potential for spraying toxics from aircraft until a better munition 
should become available. 37 

In addition to supplying the Flying Cow and a small reserve of toxics, 
the British agreed to provide their 30-pound bomb with an incendiary 
fill, their 250-pound bomb with an oil incendiary fill, and about 6,500 
of the 500-pound phosgene-filled bombs. Also, since the Eighth Air 
Force was occupying air stations established by the Royal Air Force 
(RAF), Colonel Montgomery was able to get the RAF to leave their 
protective equipment and decontaminating facilities intact when va- 
cating the stations. The British further agreed to manufacture some 
protective, warning, and detection supplies for the United States 
Army forces, including the air forces. 38 

While the total quantity of British chemical warfare materials 
furnished the United States Forces was small, and while only token 
deliveries were made in 1942, awareness of British capability and 
British reserves was nearly the only reassuring gleam in the dark 
chemical supply picture from July 1942 to July 1943. The entire 
gas warfare retaliatory potential depended on British resources for 
most of that period. CWS ETO officers measured the British contribu- 
tion as much or more in terms of their willingness to co-operate and 
their readiness to provide technical and operating experience data as 
they did in their provision of supplies under reverse lend-lease. 39 

Through the provision of such technical advice as well as actual labor 
and materials, the British helped to solve the dilemma with respect to 
toxic storage. Late in 1941 and early in 1942, the British experimented 
with the storage of toxics in concrete tanks only to reject that method 
in the spring of 1942 because the toxics seeped through the concrete. 

" (1) Crowther Staff Study, 27 Jul 42. (2) Memo, CmlO Eighth AF for ACofS G-3 Eighth AF, 
11 Aug 42, sub: Summary of Requests for Cml Warfare Servs Munitions. (3) Memo, CmlO Eighth 
AF for CmiO's Eighth AF, 11 Dec 42, sub: Cml Warfare Munitions on Order for i?43* 1° a PP- c » 
History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. 

** (1) Memo for File, CmlO Eighth AF, 24 Jun 42, sub: Conf, 22 ]un 42. (2) Itr, Chief Sup 
Div CWS ETO to General Purchasing Agent SOS ETO, 2 Sep 43, sub: Rpt of Material Procured by 
U.S. Forces in the U.K. SOSCW 400.12/121-Sec (2 Sep 43)SD. (3) History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. 

88 (1) Rowan Interv, 26 Sep 58. (2) Magness Interv, y May 59. 



Almost immediately after the rejection, however, scientists of the 
Imperial Chemical Industries working for the Ministry of Supply and 
the Ministry of Aircraft Production hit upon a simple method of lead- 
lining the concrete tanks to provide a seepage-proof seal. The British 
quickly constructed a number of lead-lined tanks at three installations 
to store some of their own reserves, and they offered to build similar 
facilities for the U.S. Eighth Air Force. Working with the RAF, the 
Ministry of Supply, and the Imperial Chemical Industries under reverse 
lend-lease authorizations, Kellogg and Lt. Col. Albert H. Hooker, 
Chemical Officer, VIII Air Force Service Command, selected sites for 
advance chemical parks at Barnham, Suffolk, and at Melchbourne Park, 
near Kettering, Northamptonshire, and the Imperial Chemical Indus- 
tries agreed to construct three 500-ton tanks at each location. Hard- 
standings and Romney huts were also built at each site for the storage 
of 4,000 tons of chemical ammunition and 6,000 tons of incendiaries. 
The VIII AFSC later installed American toxic and incendiary filling 
apparatus at both locations. The tanks at the Barnham site were com- 
pleted and filled by the end of 1943 and, while the Melchbourne Park 
facility was not completed until the spring of 1944, 1,21 J tons of toxics 
were in storage there in December 1943. 40 

Although the construction of the advance chemical parks repre- 
sented a major achievement, Army Air Forces chemical officers never 
assumed, even at the outset, that these parks would solve the problems 
of storage space for air chemical supplies. For example, against the 
air park capacity of 3,000 tons of bulk toxics and 8,000 tons of chem- 
ical ammunition, the initial estimate of requirements for bulk persistent 
toxics alone was 34,000 tons. 41 Furthermore, the air chemical officers 
were concerned not only with storage of reserve and normal station 
issue supplies but also with the daily munitions requirements of aerial 
operations. Combat operations requirements, principally of incendiary 

40 (1) History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. (2) Ltr [CG USSTAF] to CG AAF (Attn: Air CmlO) 
[1 Aug 44], sub: Status of Cml Cos, Air Opns and Cml Depot Cos, Aviation Assigned to Orgns of 
USSTAF in Europe. Eighth AF n j Cmls. (3) Memo, CmlO Eighth AF for CofS, ACsofS G-3 and 
G-4 Eighth AF, 28 Jul 42, sub: Conf With Principal RAF Officers of 42 Group, Reading, England. 
(4) History of VIII AFSC (Eighth Strategic Air Depot Area), vol. I, Narrative. Eighth AF 728.01, 
17 Feb 42-1 Mar 44. (j) Memo, no signature for Col Kellogg ei al., 3 Nov 42, sub: Notes on a 
Mtg to Discuss FFD, 1 and 2 held at Special Products Dept on 30th Oct 1942. Eighth AF 226.9(8) 
Cml Warfare Confs. (6) Memo for File, CmlO Eighth AF, 11 Mar 43, sub: Conf on Advanced 
Cml Parks. Eighth AF 400.24 in Eighth AF 226.9(8) Cml Warfare Confs. 

"Memo, CmlO Eighth AF for CmlO's Eighth AF, n Dec 42, sub: Cml Warfare Munitions on 
Order for 1943. 



bombs, had to be immediately available at each operational base from 
August 1942, when the Eighth Air Force initiated its famous raids on 
the Continent, until the end of the war in Europe. In the first month, 
6.1 tons of incendiary bombs were expended. 42 Despite the fact that 
Ordnance was officially charged with storage of toxic munitions and 
usually with the storage of incendiaries, air chemical officers found it 
almost as difficult, for the whole of the combat period, to find and 
maintain adequate storage space as it was to obtain munitions. 

As supplies began rolling in, in the second half of 1943, air force 
storage facilities were soon filled. For example, while 18,875 mustard- 
filled 100-pound bombs were brought into SOS depots and 12,000 into 
air force depots between April and July 1943, 205,485 toxic-filled M47 
bombs were in theater storage by the end of December. 43 Despite the 
fact that all ammunition storage was an Ordnance function, SOS CWS 
and even RAF chemical ammunition depots initially assumed most of 
the load of air force chemical storage. Eventually so much of the air 
force storage backlog was in SOS depots that the chemical section of 
the ordnance ammunition depot at Cinderford became in fact, if not 
in name, a Ninth Air Force depot operated by air chemical service 
units. 44 The largest SOS CWS ammunition storage facility, that at 
Loton Deer Park, was designed primarily for incendiary storage, sec- 
ondarily for toxic storage, mostly of air force munitions, and only 
incidentally for the storage of ground forces ammunition. 45 

A comparison of ground and air forces toxic stockages in the theater 
is illuminating, both because it indicates the scope of the storage prob- 
lems and because it states retaliatory capability in terms of munitions 
available. The level of ground forces toxic artillery ammunition, all 
of which was stored by Ordnance, increased only slightly from De- 
cember 1943, at approximately 301,000 rounds, until March 1945 

" (1) History of the Cml Warfare Sec ist Bombardment Div, Aug 41-Feb 44. Eighth AF 525. 
(2) Statistical Summary of Eighth AF Opns, European Theater, 17 Aug 42-8 May 45. Eighth AF 
520.308A, Archives of AF Hist Off Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. 

44 (1) Baldwin, Bingham, and Pritchard, Readiness for Gas Warfare in Theaters of Operations, app. B« 
(2) Draft, History of Eighth AF — History of Special Staff Sec, May to Dec 4}. Eighth AF jio.oi- 
4B. (3) History, VIII AFSC (Eighth Strategic Air Depot Area), vol. I, pt. I, Narrative. 

44 (1) IOM, Col Hooker, CmlO VIII AFSC, for Col Stuart, Plans Sec, 3 Feb 43, sub: Supplies for 
Advanced Air Depots. (2) Ltr, Chief Admin IX AFSC to CG ASC USSTAF, 17 Mar 44, sub: Use of 
Savernake Forest as an Advanced Cml Warfare Class V Depot for Ninth AF Stations. (}) IOM, Col 
Baum, CmlO USSTAF, for Dir of Pers, Dir of Sups, Dir of Admin Serv USSTAF, 21 Aug 44, sub: 
Transfer of Cml Depot Cos (Colored). AH in Eighth AF $19,227-4 Jul 42-May 47. 

"History of CWS Storage Depot C-^oo at Loton Deer Park, Alderbury, Shropshire. ETO Admin 



when the number of rounds stored nearly doubled. The February 1945 
stockage of 308,352 rounds contained approximately 895.45 long tons 
of toxic filling while the March stockage of 568,225 rounds contained 
about 1,500 long tons. Nearly a million rounds in storage at the end 
of the war in Europe contained only about 6jo long tons more filling 
than the March stockage because the type of shell acquired after 
March included a small payload. The stock of 4.2-inch chemical 
mortar toxic shell, also stored by Ordnance but of more direct concern 
to the CWS, was built up from approximately 26,000 rounds in 
December 1943 to more than 60,000 rounds in March 1944 and then, 
suddenly, to 137,732 rounds in February 1945. This peak stock, less 
than half of the 345,000-round peak authorization level, contained 
approximately 375 tons of toxics. Bulk persistent toxics which, except 
for the amount stored in the air chemical park tanks, were stored in 
ton containers and j5-gallon drums, rose from about 6,600 to 8,200 
long tons from December 1943 to April 1945. In April 1945 aerial 
munitions stocks amounted to 306,963 100-pound bombs, 13,081 joo- 
pound bombs, and 35,898 1,000-pound bombs with a total of approxi- 
mately 16,785 long tons of toxic filling. 46 

The problem of toxic storage in England was finding, improving, 
and managing storage space. The difficulties encountered in other 
theaters, such as corroding and leaking munitions, were not experienced 
to any significant extent. General Waitt and chemical officers in the 
theater examined toxic munitions stocks in the theater at the end of 
the war in Europe. They found a small number of M47 bombs, about 
one percent, that were leaking persistent gas, A small percentage of 
the remainder were seriously corroded, and a large percentage slightly 
corroded. The leaking and seriously corroded bombs were destroyed 
while the rest were cleaned and painted and prepared for shipment out 
of the theater. A few of the 5 5 -gallon drums were leaking and others 
needed cleaning and painting. The cleaning and painting process had 
been continuous during storage in the theater. No serious defects were 
found in other toxic munitions. 47 

Despite the problem of finding space for the storage of aerial toxic 
munitions, the level of supply mentioned above was by no means over- 

* 9 Baldwin, Bingham, and Pritchard, Readiness for Gas Warfare in Theaters of Opns, app. B. 

47 (1) Ltr, Maj J. T. Herndon, Tech Div CWS ETO to Gen Waitt, 4 Jun 45, sub: Shipment of U.K. 
Base Stored CWS Toxic Munitions to the Pacific Theater. CWS ETO CWOTD 471/8 in CWS 314.7 
Observer Rpts. (2) Chamberlain-Armitage Rpt. 



generous. Though ground toxic munitions were available, they were 
considered only supplementary to the basic retaliation potential. The 
CWS ETO based its gas warfare retaliatory potential on the bomb 
stockage plus a large portion of the bulk gas intended to fill aerial 
munitions, and chemical planners reckoned this aerial supply as capable 
of supporting only 14 operational days of retaliatory gas warfare. 48 
Had the Germans resorted to gas warfare, the possible 2- or even 4- 
week duration of the initial operation would have been a short time in 
which to move additional supplies from the United States. Indeed, in 
May 1944 air planners estimated that 45 days would be required to 
move a stock of the principal toxic weapon, persistent-gas-filled M47 
bombs, into the theater. At that time, less than a month before D-day, 
the theater command considered the threat of German initiation of 
gas warfare serious enough to order combat-ready toxic bomb loadings 
sent to operating air stations so that a retaliatory strike could be 
launched in a maximum of 24 hours. 49 When the continental invasion 
produced no indications of the initiation of gas warfare, no new prep- 
arations for retaliation were made in the fall of 1944. On two subse- 
quent occasions, in December 1944 and near the end of the war, 
theater planners feared that Germany might turn to gas warfare as a 
last-ditch defense of the homeland although Rowan believed there 
was little danger. Aside from the increase in toxic munitions stocks 
in the early months of 1945, no further aerial bombardment retaliatory 
preparations were made in response to the last-ditch threat. 50 

Incendiary Bombs 

The CWS ETO was unable for most of 1942 to supply incendiary 
bombs. 51 The British 30- and 250-pound incendiaries were therefore 

48 (1) Interv, Hist Off with Col Baum, formerly CmlO USSTAF, 5 Dec 45. (2) Estimates of aerial 
gas warfare capabilities varied. Chemical Section, 12 th Army Group, believed the theater air forces 
capable of supporting 21 operational days. Leggin Interv, 22 Nov 45. 

49 (O Memo for Red, Baum, 18 May 44, sub: Notes on the State of Preparedness of USAAF in the 
U.K. for Retaliatory and Sustained Effort in the Event Gas Warfare Is Initiated by the Enemy. Eighth 
AF 519.253, 1944. (2) Baum Interv, 5 Dec 45. (j) Miller Interv, 2 Feb 60. Air Chief Marshal Sir 
Trafford Leigh-Mallory, AEAF commander, was designated Air Commander-in-Chief for the initial 
phase of the continental operation. Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, eds., "The Army Air 
Forces in World War II," vol. Ill, Europe: ARGUMENT to V-E Day (Chicago: University of Chicago 
Press, 1951), pp. 80-82. 

50 Notes by Col M. T. Hankins on Conf of CmlO's at Dillingen, Germany, 29 Apr 45. CWS 314.7 
Observer Rpts. 

51 For a disc ussion of European theater development and employment of incendiary bombs see below, 
I Chapter XVTl| 



adopted for American use, but the British were little more prepared 
than the Americans to provide supply in the quantities soon demanded. 
Kellogg obtained 10,000 American thin cased, 100-pound (M47) 
bomb bodies late in 1942 and had them filled with an incendiary mix- 
ture by air chemical service units in England. Just about the time this 
field improvisation was completed, a substantial supply of American 
100-pound clusters of 4-pound magnesium bombs began to arrive* 
Just as the incendiary supply situation was beginning to look good, 
air chemical officers discovered that the 100-pound clusters were 
defective. They were forced to withdraw the clusters from issue* 52 

Beginning with successful incendiary raids on German industrial 
targets in occupied France during the summer of 1943, incendiary 
bomb expenditures, especially of the M47 bomb, then available from 
the United States, reached large proportions in the fall of 1943 and 
by December accounted for 40 percent of the total American bomb 
load. 53 The Chemical Section, VIII AFSC, took extraordinary meas- 
ures to meet operational demands. They routed incendiary shipments 
from the United States directly from the port of debarkation to the 
operational air stations. Short supply Mi 26 fuzes for the M47 were 
airlifted from the United States. Still there were shortages and some 
of the tonnage expended included the alternative British oil-perspex- 
filled 250-pound bomb. At the end of December 1943, M47 stocks 
were double the tonnage expended in that month, and 1,424 tons of the 
new joo-pound aimable cluster, M17, had been received. Nearly 
16,000 of the 100-pound clusters of 4-pound bombs, now capable of 
modification by a special fuze to permit cluster opening at an altitude 
safe to carrying aircraft, were on hand. Seven other clusters of small 
bombs and the British 250-pound bomb were also stocked in small 
quantities, in one case as low as six tons. By January 1944 the M17 
cluster, which contained no 4-pound magnesium bombs, had reached 
VIII Bomber Command stations, and within a week, on n January 
1944, three groups of the 1st Bombardment Division dropped Miy's 
on Wilhelmshaven. Although bombardiers had to learn its aiming 

^ (1) History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. (z) History, Cml Warfare Sec ist Bombardment Div. (3) 
Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col John A. Martin, formerly OpnsO Cml Sec Eighth AF, 28 Aug yi. 
68 Statistical Summary of Eighth AF Opns, European Theater. 



characteristics, the new cluster proved to be an accurate weapon of 
great power. 

The long awaited M76 500-pound bomb filled with incendiary gel 
arrived in the theater early in 1944, but operational results of this 
weapon, dubbed the Block Burner, were disappointing. While the 
M76 was used with moderate success against Berlin on 6 March 1944, 
subsequent operations proved that target opportunities for so large a 
bomb, which contained a low percentage of incendiary fuel with 
respect to total weight, were few in number. By September the Eighth 
Air Force had no plans for use of this munition, and a large portion of 
the stock was turned over to the Ninth Air Force whose tactical targets 
were more suitable. 55 

The 1944 an d 1945 expenditures of incendiary bombs were spotty — 
the highest month of Eighth Air Force expenditure was October 1944 
at ll y?>}7- 1 ton s while the next month was the lowest at 566.4 tons. 
The monthly average expenditure for 1944 was nearly 5,200 tons and 
for 1945 nearly 6,400 tons, approximately one-seventh the monthly 
average of all Eighth Air Force bombs on target. The M17 cluster 
comprised about 70 percent of the expenditure, and most of the re- 
mainder was the M47. Although on one occasion air chemical officers 
had to request that M17 shipments be rushed, supply was normally 
excellent. The curtailed usage of M76 and M47 bombs resulted in 
stockages beyond the authorized theater 7 5 -day level, and supply 
officers recommended, in the fall of 1944, that further shipments from 
the United States be halted. They did not propose that the theater 
overage be returned since variation in operations or types of targets 
available might again have meant a large demand. 56 

e * (1) History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. (2) Cml Sec VIII AFSC, Rpt, Incendiaries, Eighth AF, 1943, 
Jun-Dec, prepared by Statistical Contl Eighth AF, 7 Jan 44. Eighth AF 5 19. 225-1. (3) Hist, Cml 
Warfare Sec 1st Bombardment Div. 

65 (1) History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. (2) CG USSTAF to CG AAF, Rpt, Monthly Ammunition 
Rpt, 6. Oct 44. Eighth AF 519. 225-1. (3) Ltr, CG USSTAF to CG AAF [5 Aug 44], sub: Level of 
Sup of Incendiary Bombs. Eighth AF 519.225-1. 

" (1) Ltr, CG Base Air Depot Area ASC USSTAF to CG ASC USSTAF, 16 Sep 44, sub: Level of 
Sup of Incendiary Bombs. (2) TOM, Baum, CmlO USSTAF, for Dir of Sup, Dir of Opns, OrdO, 
and AG USSTAF, 4 Sep 44, sub: Rqmts for M76 500-lb. Incendiary Bombs. (3) Msg, Doolittle 
[CG Eighth AF] to AWW, 3 Sep 44. (4) IOM, Baum for Dir of Sup USSTAF, 3 Oct 44. (5) Ltr, 
CmlO USSTAF to Chief, Sup Div CWS COMZ ETO, 14 Oct 44, sub: USSTAF Incendiary Bomb 
Rqmts. (6) Msg, CG USSTAF to CG Eighth AF [20 Jun 44]- (7) IOM, Baum for Dir of Sup 
and AG USSTAF, 1 Nov 44, sub: Shipments of Mi 7 Incendiary Bomb Clusters. (8) Msg, MF-03482, 
CG USSTAF to CG Eighth AF [30 Dec 44]. (9) IOM, Lt Col Clarance H. Breedlove, Asst OrdO 
and CmlO, Eighth AF for Opn/Research Sec, 5 Jan 45, sub: MF-03482. Eighth AF 471.18. (10) 
Msg, D-65036, CG Eighth AF to CG USSTAF, 8 Jan 45. All in Eighth AF 519.225-1. (11) Sta- 
tistical Summary of Eighth AF Opns European Theater. 



Fire Bombs 

During the second half of 1944 the most pressing air chemical supply 
problem concerned the provision of another field expedient, the fire 
bomb. This bomb was a field improvised incendiary bomb fabricated 
from expendable, auxiliary, aircraft gasoline tanks. Air service units 
filled the tank with a mixture of gasoline and a thickener (usually 
napalm) and wired on an incendiary grenade or part of a magnesium 
bomb as an igniter. The fire bomb was an excellent tactical weapon 
to use against supply dumps, troop concentrations, convoys, and 
vehicles. Air chemical officers in the United Kingdom anticipated 
post-D-day use of fire bombs by the VIII and IX Fighter Commands. 
The Air Service Command, USSTAF, accordingly increased amounts 
and priorities on their orders for thickeners and other fire bomb com- 
ponents from the United States. By June of 1944 it was apparent that 
shipments would not be received in time to meet the demand, and air 
chemical officers conducted a theaterwide survey of thickener supply. 
They concluded that interim needs could be met, but with difficulty. 57 
Intensive fire bomb missions were inaugurated in July, and supplies 
proved adequate, particularly since the Ninth Air Force was using 
the M76 joo-pound bomb on the same kind of mission. 58 At the same 
time, USSTAF requested that SOS transfer 50,000 gallons of the 
ground forces flame thrower fuel, which was not being used in antici- 
pated quantities, to the air forces. 

By the first week in August, SOS had delivered 20,000 gallons of 
fuel to the air forces and had agreed to lend enough packaged dry 
napalm from SOS depots for mixing the remaining 30,000 gallons. 
Air Service Command delivered the entire loan of napalm to the 
Ninth Air Force and directed the Commanding General, Base Air 
Depot Area, to complete arrangements, already informally approved, 
to have the British mix some or most of this fuel. The IX Air Force 

*" (r) IOM, Baum for Dir of Sup, Dir of Opns, and AG USSTAF, 17 Jun 44, sub: Thickened Fuel 
for Use in Jettisonablc Gasoline Tanks. (2) Ltr, CG USSTAF to CG's Eighth and Ninth AF*s and 
ASC, n.d., sub: Nomenclature and Reds for the Blaze Bomb. Both in Eighth AF 519.227-1. 

M Ltr, CmlO USSTAF to Air CmlO AAF WD, j Aug 44, sub: Eighth and Ninth AF's Expenditure 
of Incendiaries, Jul 44. Eighth AF 5 19.227-1. 



Service Command was to mix, using a borrowed Canadian mixing 
apparatus, any fuel that the British could not handle. 50 

Despite the SOS loan and the successful completion of arrangements 
for British mixing, the anticipated shortage became critical. USSTAF, 
during August 1944, reminded SOS that the J9 tons of napalm sched- 
uled to arrive from the United States must be available by 25 August 
and that 64 additional tons already on order must be received by 16 
September. Two more pleas for expedited delivery were sent before 
the first shipment arrived in two parts late in August and about the 
middle of September. 80 

About 70 percent of the first two shipments — the second had arrived 
early in October — was dispatched directly to a plant of the National 
Oil Refining Company, subsidiary of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 
in Swansea, Wales, which had been ready for processing since 21 
August. The rest of those shipments were sent for field mixing by 
the air force service commands. The British plant mixed more than 
375,000 gallons of fuel before the end of October and contracted to 
continue this job. In addition, a factory in the north of England con- 
tracted to supplement the American supply by providing 185,500 
gallons of perspex mix fuel from September through November. 81 The 
fuel supply in the mixing process plus the assured prospect of continu- 
ing deliveries from the United States should have removed the fire 
bomb supply problem from the critical list by the end of September, 
but plans were knocked awry during the month by startling statements 
of new requirements and by a distribution problem. 

Eighth Air Force in September 1944 decided to drop fire bombs from 
heavy bombers on targets so well fortified as to have withstood high 
explosive bombardment. The air force initially requested 600,000 
gallons of mixed fuel and in November increased that request to 
1,000,000 gallons to be expended at the rate of 130,000 gallons per 
month. As an alternative to the availability of mixed fuel, the air force 

60 (1) Ltr, CG USSTAF to CG ETOUSA (Attn: CCWO), 21 Jul 44, sub: Flame Thrower Thick- 
ened Fuel, with 1st Ind, CG ETOUSA to CG USSTAF, 3 Aug 44, and id Ind, CG USSTAF to CG 
BADA ASC, n.d. (2) Msg, Brig Gen Hugh J. Knerr [CG ASC] to CG BADA ASC, 7 Aug 44, no 
suD. Both in Eighth AF 519.225-1. 

M (i) IOM, Baum for AG USSTAF, 16 Aug 44, no sub. (2) Msg, CG ASC USSTAF to CG 
ETOUSA, 26 Aug 44, no sub. (3) Ltr, CG ASC USSTAF to CG ETOUSA, 28 Aug 44, sub: Rqmts 
of Napalm and Miy Grenades for Blaze Bomb Fuel. All in Eighth AF 5 19.22 5-1. 

01 (1) Ltr, CG BADA ASC to CG ASC USSTAF, 19 Aug 44, sub: Thickened Incendiary Fuel. 
(2) Personal Ltr, Baum to Brig Gen Edward Montgomery, Air CmlO AAF WD, 16 Oct 44. Both in 
Eighth AF 5 19.225. 



requested 75 tons of dry napalm and a sufficient number of mixing units 
to handle it. USSTAF chemical officers reshuffled their planned distri- 
bution schedule and notified Eighth Air Force in tones of justifiable 
pique that, while its original request was out of the question, 60,000 
gallons could be furnished at the end of September, an additional 30,000 
gallons during October, and that attempts would be made to meet 
the 130,000-gallon requirement in November and December. At this 
point the air chemical officer in War Department Headquarters, Army 
Air Forces, cabled to ask if his headquarters could be of assistance in 
improving the fire bomb supply situation. USSTAF answered that 
the greatest possible assistance would be in insuring the delivery of 
1 00 tons of dry napalm per month by setting up fast ship and air 
transportation in addition to that already allotted to USSTAF. This 
plea was renewed after Eighth Air Force increased its requests. 
Meanwhile, air chemical officers even canvassed the Twelfth Air Force 
in the Mediterranean area in the hope of securing thickener, but the 
Twelfth Air Force was itself then attempting to borrow thickened 
fuels from the Ninth. In December 1944 an d * n *945 the problem 
was solved by the arrival of a sufficient supply of thickeners from the 
United States. About the same time, American mixing and transfer 
kits became available in quantity. AAF enlarged the table of equip- 
ment for chemical air operations companies to provide eight of these 
mixing and transfer kits for each unit, and USSTAF secured special 
kit allowances for the Eighth Air Force. Thus, field units could mix 
enough fuel to greatly augment the British capacity. 92 

The use of mixing and transfer units also helped to solve the dis- 
tribution problem arising from the supply of fire bomb fuel. The 
nature of this problem was that the Ninth Air Force was already 
operating from the Continent by the time mixed fuels began to come 
off the processing lines in the United Kingdom, sometime in September. 

** (1) Msg MF-00742, Lt Gen Carl Spaatz to CG Eighth AF, 21 Sep 44, no sub. {2) IOM, Baum 
for Dir of Opns USSTAF, 30 Sep 44, Sup of Thickened Fuel for Eighth Air Force. (3) IOM, Baum 
for Dir of Sup and Dir of Opns USSTAF, 2 Oct 44, sub: Cable From Gen Henry H. Arnold re Fire 
Bombs. (4) IOM, Baum for Dir of Sup and AG ASC USSTAF, 4 Oct 44, no sub, (5) Msg MF- 
01268, Spaatz for CG Eighth AF, ti Oct 44, no sub, with 1st Ind, CG Eighth AF to CG USSTAF, 
n.d., and 2d Ind, CG USSTAF to CG Eighth AF, n.d. (6) IOM, Baum for Dir of Sup, Dir of Opns, 
and AG USSTAF, 13 Oct 44, no sub. (7) Baum to Montgomery, 16 Oct 44. (8) IOM, Baum for 
Dir of Opns, Dir of Sup, and AG USSTAF, 1 Nov 44, sub: Supply of Napalm for Fire Bomb Fuel. 
(9) IOM, Baum for Dir of Sup and AG ASC USSTAF, 4 Nov 44, sub: Eighth Air Force Fire Bomb 
Fuel Rqmts. (10) IOM, Baum for AG USSTAF, 10 Nov 44, sub: Mixing and Transfer Units. 
(11) Msg, Spaatz to CG Ninth AF, 19 Nov 44, no sub. All in Eighth AF 519.225. 



Routing these fuels, packed for the most part in still scarce jj -gallon 
drums, through normal supply channels resulted in insupportable 
delays. The USSTAF Chemical Section accordingly arranged with 
COMZ ETO to transfer fuel distribution from the normal channels 
to Army Air Forces priority supply channels from the beachheads and 
ports forward. The change in channels resulted in special and rapid 
handling of fuel. Colonel Baum stationed "expediters," chemical offi- 
cers or air chemical units, at crucial points along the supply line to 
see that the fuel kept moving. The mixing and transfer kits also per- 
mitted the air chemical units attached directly to the operation groups 
to fill fire bombs on the spot, thus eliminating drum shortage complaints 
and relieving the overtaxed distribution system. 63 

By the beginning of 1945 air chemical supply was proceeding 
smoothly, and more than a month before the end of the war in Europe 
air chemical officers turned their attention to the disposition of sup- 
plies on hand. For the air forces as for all forces in the theater, D-day 
had been a momentous event, and the character of air forces operations 
had changed substantially because of the nature of D-day preparations 
and post-D-day requirements, but D-day was not a turning point in 
air chemical supply as it was in ground chemical supply. The turning 
points in air chemical supply were two: the first at the beginning of 
1944 when the minimum required supply for toxic retaliation was at 
last reached and when incendiary supply was at last equal to operational 
demands, and the second at the beginning of 1945 when the avail- 
ability of fire bomb material could be counted on to meet operational 
demands. Despite this difference in culmination of air and ground 
efforts, the problems of air and ground chemical supply were essentially 
alike. The foremost question was always how to compute requirements 
for toxics, a weapon which might not be used, or for incendiaries and 
fire bombs, weapons which had not previously been used. But the 
question which required greater expenditure of energy and ingenuity 
was how to meet the requirements once computed or presented by 
operational usage. The air chemical supply system answered both of 
these questions but neither answer was quick and easy. To consider 
ground chemical supply it is therefore necessary to return to the end 

63 (1) Baum to Montgomery, 16 Oct 44. (2) Mgs, Gen Spaatz to Maj Gen Hoyt S. Vandenberg 
[CG Ninth AF], cited in IOM, Baum for Dir of Sup, Dir of Opns, and AG USSTAF, $ Oct 44, no 
sub. Both in Eighth AF 5 19.225. 



of 1943 when ground preparations for the scheduled spring continental 
operation became the dominating theater activity. 

Ground Chemical Supply 

The CWS ETO and all its sister services in the theater had been 
involved in preparations for D-day ever since the establishment of the 
theater headquarters in June 1942, for a build-up supporting the 
cross-Channel operation was the aim of the Bolero plan under which 
they functioned. But, until the end of 1943, the problems of the 
build-up and of supply shortages were so grave as to obscure the main 
objective. In the fall of 1943 chemical supply was arriving in a suffi- 
cient quantity, as noted above, to make the assault on the Continent 
seem more feasible. Furthermore, in November and December 1943 
the Allied Staffs were beginning to consider the precise nature and 
scope of Overlord, the forthcoming operation. 64 The basic ques- 
tion facing the ground planners was tactical: how can a Normandy 
beachhead large enough to serve as a point of departure for continental 
operations be secured? This basic question quickly resolved itself into 
two logistical questions: (1) how many men could the Allied forces 
get across the Channel and on the beachhead; (2) how much build-up 
of materiel would be required to support them? 

Plans and Planning Agencies 

The answer to the basic tactical question from the American point 
of view was to mount an overwhelmingly superior force, which would 
mean using all the men in every combat-ready unit which could be 
assembled in the United Kingdom and which could be provided with 
transport to the Continent. The technical services in turn would have 
to accumulate sufficient materiel to support such a force. The CWS 
ETO portion of the materiel project involved three basic categories 
of supply: (1) individual and collective gas warfare protective and 
decontaminating items for the entire force; (2) weapons and ammu- 
nition for chemical mortar units plus flame and smoke weapons and 
equipment for all combat forces; (3) and special operational require- 
ments such as smoke protection for the beachhead. The first job was 

64 Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, 7, 175-89- 



to secure statements of chemical requirements in each category from 
each of the responsible planning headquarters. 

Activation of the planning headquarters had begun late in 1943. 
First United States Army was to be responsible for all supply opera- 
tions until two weeks after D-day. Advance Section, Communications 
Zone, a mobile base section headquarters, was to take over for the 
next twenty-seven days. Forward Echelon, Communications Zone, 
was to assume control of supply operations in the remaining forty-nine 
days of the first three months on the far shore. It was assumed that 
Communications Zone, the redesignated SOS ETO, would be in oper- 
ation on the Continent at the end of the third month. Major Hingle 
moved over from Supply Division, CWS ETO, in January to establish 
a supply division in the FECOMZ Chemical Section. Chemical sections 
of all these closely co-ordinated agencies immediately set to work on 
their requirements planning. Since initial issue of all regular supplies 
had already been made or materials credited to all units and organiza- 
tions in or arriving in the United Kingdom, the requirements plans 
were for cross-Channel resupply. 65 

On 1 5 April FUSA began submitting requisitions for the materials 
in its chemical supply plan which had been the last of the major plans 
to be formulated. 66 CWS Supply Division issued 375 shipping orders 
releasing 8,364 ship tons of Classes II and IV supplies and 12,072 ship 
tons of Class V supplies for movement over the beaches in the first 2- 
week phase. Three weeks later Third United States Army, the organi- 
zation to which ADSEC was scheduled to render most of its support, 
submitted requisitions for chemical resupply in the ADSEC control 
phase. Materials requisitioned totaled 4,026 ship tons of Classes II 
and IV and 7,8 r 5 tons of ammunition. The CWS ETO discovered some 
shortages in filling these requisitions, but none were serious, and 
acceptable substitute items were available. FECOMZ phase requisitions 
required 400 shipping orders for 9,053 ship tons of protective items, 
weapons, and equipment, and 9,084 ship tons of ammunition. Again, 
some substitutions which FECOMZ considered satisf actory were 
made. 67 

85 (1) History, Sup Diy, II. (2) Hq 12th Army Group Final AAR, ji Jul 45. (}) History, 
ADSEC. (4) History, FECOMZ. (j) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, J, 219-26. 
"Personal Ltr, Prentiss to Porter, CCWS, 12 Apr 44. CWS 3147 Pers Files, ETO. 
67 History, Sup Div, II. 



While normal resupply was being set up, theater headquarters, an- 
ticipating unpredictable and unusual demands once the operation 
started, set up two procedures for rapid filling of spot needs. The 
"Red Ball Express" 68 provided for a daily coaster service shipment 
of 100 long tons of urgently needed general cargo unobtainable from 
normal resupply. "Red Ball Express" shipments were to be called 
for and allocated by the senior commander ashore. The CWS ETO 
was called upon to provide a total of 90 ship tons during the 3 -month 
operation of this measure. The "Green Light Supply" plan was 
evolved just a few days before D-day to meet extraordinary ammuni- 
tion requirements, unavailable from normal resupply, at an estimated 
rate of 600 long tons per day in the critical period from D plus 14 to 
D plus 41. CWS shipped 400 ship tons of ammunition through "Green 
Light." 69 Chemical resupply was thus expeditiously handled with 
minimum difficulty from the wholesale issue point of view, but the 
acquisition of some of the items and of services which went into the 
CWS resupply effort and the initial issue effort had not been easy. 

Protective and Decontaminating Equipment 

Since the service gas mask had been proved too bulky and too heavy 
during the North African campaigns, chemical officers in the ETO 
hoped that the CWS in the United States would be able to provide a 
promised lighter weight mask before their own campaigns began. 
Late in 1943 the new lightweight mask began to arrive and the CWS 
ETO embarked on the not inconsiderable task of exchanging the old 
masks in the hands of each individual in the theater for the new. Unit 
and organization and depot mask reserves were also exchanged. 
Chemical officers and gas officers at all echelons then examined the fit 
and adjustment of every mask in the possession of every individual 
and conducted gas chamber and wearing exercises and tests, even in 
the Supreme Headquarters. The tests and exercises sometimes turned 
up masks that did not fit and could not be adjusted to fit. Fortunately, 
the number of nonadjustable masks, a defect which OCCWS blamed 
on the molds used by one manufacturer in early production, was not 
great. These masks were called in and facepieces from the old masks 
were assembled to render them serviceable. Issue of the new masks 

""Not to be confused with the later and better-known motor transport operation of the same name. 
* History, Sup Div, II. 



was completed in March 1944, and chemical maintenance companies 
examined, cleaned, and repaired salvageable old masks turned in to 
provide a secondary reserve and to build up an inventory of repair 
parts. Not long after the invasion, Colonel St. John, chemical adviser 
to G-3, SHAEF, wrote, "There are sufficient gas masks in the UK to 
cover the faces of all Europe and Asia." 70 

The gas mask was the most important of the protective items, but, 
since chemical officers assumed that vesicant gases would be employed 
in far greater quantities than nonpersistent gases, protective clothing 
was also very important. Storage and issue of protective clothing was 
a responsibility of the Quartermaster Corps, but the CWS was charged 
with impregnating permeable clothing with gas-resistant chemicals. 
The CWS provided chemical processing companies to perform this 
service in the theaters. As noted above, the 51st Chemical Processing 
Company was one of the first two chemical service units in the 
European theater. Late in 1942 this company began to set up a large 
capacity impregnating facility, in fact a modified commercial dry- 
cleaning plant, in the factory of the Blythe Colour Works at Cresswell, 
Staffordshire. This "zone of the interior impregnating plant," which 
crated weighed nearly 215 long tons and occupied more than 43,000 
cubic feet, was intended to be the first of nearly a dozen such plants 
to be erected in the United Kingdom; but, when it was discovered 
that sites were unavailable and that requirements for water, waste 
disposal facilities, and power were more than the overburdened British 
economy could bear, the CWS ETO requested that the schedule be 
changed to provide the smaller "theater of operations" plant. 71 

By the end of 1943, ten more chemical processing companies had 
arrived in the United Kingdom, had been equipped with two theater 
of operations impregnating plants each, and had been installed, usually 
within or adjacent to quartermaster clothing depots. A number of 

n (i) Ibid. (2) Ltr, TAG to CG's AGF, AAF, ASF, POE's et al., 28 Oct 43, sub: Instr on 
Issuing New Type Gas Masks. AG 470.72 (26 Oct 43) OB-S-E-SPMOT-M, in Rqmts and Stock 
Contl Div, ASF 470.7 z Gas Masks. (3) Ltr, CC WO ETO to CmlO USSTAF, zz Aug, sub: Special 
Fitting of Gas Masks. CWO 470.72/499 in Eighth AF 225.5 Protective Equip. (4) 8th Ind (Basic 
Ltr not available), CmlO USSTAF to Air CmlO AAF WD, 1 Sep 44, no sub. AAF 470.72 (25 Apr 
44) in Eighth AF 225.5 Protective Equip. (5) Personal Ltr, Porter to Prentiss, 22 Mar 44. CWS 
314.7 Pers Files, ETO. (6) Rpt for CCWS, St. John, 28 Jun 1944. CWS 314.7 Pers Files, ETO. 
(7) Personal Ltr, Porter to St. John, 2 Aug 44. CWS 314.7 Pers Files, ETO. (General Porter 
pointed out that ETO mask stockage was 2,246,000, with 213,000 in the hands of troops. This quan- 
tity, even considering the 719,000 old-style masks still in reserve, was not a significant overage.) 

71 History, Impregnation in ETO, 1 Jul 42-1 Jan 44, CWS ETO. ETO Admin 545A. 



the plants utilized the new water emulsion impregnating process. The 
Quartermaster Corps had been able to obtain impregnated clothing 
from the United States to satisfy most of the theater's planned needs, 
so that there was little initial impregnating work to do. By agreement 
between the theater quartermaster and the CWS, all but one of the 
processing companies were given laundry work. Most of the companies 
"kept a hand in" by doing reimpregnation on clothing which had 
been turned in and by doing initial impregnation of Navy uniforms. 
In January 1944 the theater commander assigned to the CWS ETO 
the responsibility of inspecting clothing in storage to determine how 
impregnation was holding up. Rowan delegated the inspection func- 
tion to teams picked from the processing companies. The inspection 
operation further improved the technical proficiency of the companies 
and also served to identify lots of clothing needing reimpregnation. 72 

The theater quartermaster called in and reissued protective clothing 
for every individual in the theater at the same time that the distribution 
of the lightweight mask was in progress. The European theater was 
authorized an initial issue of double layer protection, that is, antigas 
impregnated underwear and socks, hood, combat uniform, gloves, and 
leggings, for every individual. In April 1944 the War Department 
authorized in addition to this initial issue a theater reserve (in the 
absence of gas warfare) of double layer protection for 35 percent of 
the theater force and one and one half layer, that is, antigas socks, 
drawers, and outer uniform plus hood, gloves, and leggings, for the 
remainder of the theater force. 73 Thus, every soldier in the theater 
had available two complete sets of protective clothing except that 65 
percent of the force would lack a second protective undershirt. The 
invasion plan called for every soldier to wear protective outer garments 
for the landing, to carry the gas mask, and to carry two cellophane 
protective covers, four eyeshields, one tube of eye ointment, one can 
of shoe impregnite, and one package of protective ointment. Most 
soldiers were also equipped with sleeve detectors (a brassard of gas 
detector paper) which the CWS had procured from the British. 74 

While most items of chemical protective, gas warning, and decon- 
taminating equipment existed in ample supply by January 1944, 

n History, Sup Div, II. 

"Ltr, TAG to CinC SWPA et al., 24 Apr 44, sub: Cml Warfare Protective Clothing Accessories and 
Equip. AG 420 23 May 42(2) sec. 2. 
" History, Sup Div, II. 



there were several shortages. One acute shortage was for gas alarms, 
and the CWS ETO through reverse lend-lease procured the British 
trench rattle as a substitute- Another more acute shortage was for the 
power-driven decontaminating apparatus. As in North Africa and 
Italy, the decontaminating apparatus was cherished by the Army Air 
Forces in the United Kingdom for its secondary uses, such as giving 
showers, hauling water, serving as fire-fighting equipment, and washing 
aircraft. The Army Air Forces found the skid-mounted M4 power- 
driven apparatus completely unsatisfactory for their needs, and the 
ground and service forces took an equally dim view of this immobile 
equipment. Consequently, the CWS ETO set its maintenance com- 
panies to work truck-mounting the M4 apparatus. The job was com- 
pleted in the spring of 1944, and, while the M4 apparatus failed to 
meet Air Forces requirements even when mounted, the ground forces 
and service forces were willing to accept it. As of June 1944 the au- 
thorized theater level for the M3 and M4 apparatus was 1,336 while 
the supply was 1,298. In the absence of gas warfare, this shortage 
was not a serious matter, but it did present chemical officers with the 
problem of giving air forces and ground forces elements reasons for 
not supplying them with all the apparatus they wanted for secondary 
uses. 75 

Weapons, Ammunition, and Smoke Equipment 

The availability of and requirement for chemical mortar battalions 
remained in doubt during the entire preparation period, and conse- 
quently no firm basis existed on which to compute weapons and am- 
munition requirements. Weapons supply and ammunition supply, 
in Colonel St. John's opinion, were adequate, and he believed that the 
only serious preinvasion chemical shortage was in repair parts for the 
mortar. ETO chemical officers, aware of the spare parts problems in 
the Mediterranean area, attempted to improve their own situation by 
requesting supply from the United States. The CWS at home had 
not yet remedied the repair parts situation. The task was doubly 
difficult because ASF was attempting to standardize all repair parts 
requirements computations, and, owing to the uncertain weapons 

75 (1) Ibid. (2) History, Cml Sec Eighth AF. (3) Msg D-1441, Maj Gen Ira C. Eaker [CG 
Eighth AF] to Arnold [CG AAF], 30 Jun 43. Eighth AF j 19-253 *944* (4) Baldwin, Bingham, 
and Pritchard, Readiness for Gas Warfare in Theaters of Opns, app. B. 



requirement situation and the lack of expenditure experience in the 
ETO, CWS could furnish ASF with recommendations based only on 
roughly estimated data. But even had requirements recommendations 
been firm, it is doubtful that the supply system could have operated 
rapidly enough to furnish the ETO with stocks in the few months 
before the cross-Channel attack. Experience was to prove the limited 
supply of repair parts grossly inadequate. 76 

Other weapons and ammunition furnished by the CWS ETO to the 
combat forces included the flame thrower, smoke pots, and smoke 
grenades. The CWS ETO had acquired a sufficient supply of the 
portable flame throwers, and chemical units had mixed a substantial 
quantity of thickened fuel. No American tank-mounted flame thrower 
was available, but fuel had been mixed for use in British models on 
loan in limited numbers to the United States forces. Soon after the 
invasion, St. John reported critical shortages of both portable and 
mechanized flame throwers and of fuels as well as of mortars and 
mortar parts, but subsequent experience did not warrant the critical 
designation since flame throwers were not popular in Europe. 77 

Not enough smoke pots or grenades were available to meet antici- 
pated requirements. British No. 24 smoke generators, similar to the 
American smoke pots, were procured as substitutes, and the British 
No. 79 grenade was procured as a substitute for the American M8 
smoke grenade. The American mechanical smoke generator should 
also be included in this category although it was not technically classed 
as a weapon. The bulky semimobile Mi generator was available in 
sufficient quantity, but a supply of the newly produced, highly mobile 
M2 was considered essential for combat operations. The CWS in the 
United States sent new generators, some by airlift, just in time to be 
used in the invasion. Generator fuel was provided by the British. 78 

Special Requirements 

ETO chemical officers, anticipating the need for concealing mount- 
ing areas in England and assault beaches in France, had long expected 
that the need for smoke materials would far exceed the normal demands 

79 (1) History, Sup Div, II. (2) Personal Ltr, St. John to Waitt, 17 May 44- CWS 31 4*7 P*« 
Files, ETO. (3) Rowan Incerv, 26 Sep 58. 

7 (1) For additional information on flame thrower experience in Europe, see below, Chapter XVI 
(2) History, Sup Div, II. (3) St, John co Porter, 28 Jun 44. 
78 History, Sup Div, II. 



Conferring Somewhere in England Just Before D-Day. (Left to right) 
Colonel Cunin, General Porter, Lt. Col. Thomas H. James, and Colonel St, John. 

of combat operations. They also anticipated a number of special de- 
mands for other CWS materials for use on the Continent. The fact 
that the Germans were to lose their air superiority by the time of the 
invasion, negating the need for smoke during the mounting and assault 
phases, could not have been counted on or, indeed, foreseen by these 

To take care of such special demands, the War Department set up 
a project system known as PROCO (projects for continental opera- 
tion) soon after the 1943 reinstatement of Bolero. PROCO was to 
be set up by the technical services in the theater. Each technical service 
was to state specific requirements for each project together with 
shipping weights and cubages and an extensive justification for the 
use of materials beyond regular authorizations. The justifications were 
to be reviewed by higher authority in the theater and by ASF and OPD 
in the United States. CWS ETO PROCO 1 requested 1,164,508 Mi 
smoke pots and 20,000 M4 smoke pots. The first project was submitted 



on 20 July 1943, and on that and the following day nine other projects 
for decontaminating, impregnating, and gasproofing materials and 
supply handling and maintenance equipment were dispatched. 79 

The first ten CWS projects initially called for 179,283 long tons, 
or 590,059 ship tons, of materiel, delivery for which was to be phased 
over a period of nearly a year. In view of the fact that this gross ship 
tonnage was more than ten times the CWS cubage eventually shipped 
to the Continent in the first ninety days, it is apparent that PROCO 
was no insignificant matter in the eyes of ETO chemical supply officers; 
indeed, PROCO must have been manna to the CWS officers who 
believed ETO supply inadequate for chemical warfare. PROCO as 
interpreted in the theater presented the first and last opportunity for 
the CWS in any theater of operations to prepare for gas, smoke, and 
flame warfare on a scale considered by many chemical officers as wise. 
CWS ETO in September 1941 accordingly submitted three more 
projects, one for flame thrower accessories and two for smoke materials, 
before any word had been received from the War Department on the 
fate of the first ten. On 22 October 1943 ASF directed shipment of 
those items which CWS ETO had scheduled for early theater delivery 
in projects one through ten, and theater officers assumed that the 
whole schedule would be followed. But, before this first shipment 
could be made theater hopes were shattered. On 3 November 1943 
ASF withdrew all projects for review by the United States Chemical 
Warfare Committee (USCWC). 80 

ASF restored CWS PROCO after review by the USCWC and after 
much correspondence with the theater and the intercession of General 
Waitt, Assistant Chief Chemical Officer for Field Operations, but they 
restored only 40 percent of the original quantities. Project 12 for 

n (1) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, /, 260-61. (2) Ltrs, CCWO ETO to TAG through CG SOS 
ETO, 20 Jul 43, sub: Proj i, SOSCW 470.72/134-Cr-Sec (20 Jul 43)SD; 21 Jul 43, sub: CWS Proj 
2, SOSCW 470.72/3 1 i-Sec (21 Jul 43)SD; 21 Jul 43, sub: CWS Proj 3, same file; 20 Jul 43, sub: 
CWS Proj 4, SOSCW 470.72/309-Sec (20 Jul 43)SD; 20 Jul 43, sub: CWS Proj 5, SOSCW 470.72/ 
jio-Sec (20 Jul 43)SD; 20 Jul 43, sub: CWS Proj 6, SOSCW 470.72/ 1 34-O-Sec (20 Jul 4})SD; 
2i Jul 43, sub: CWS Proj 7, SOSCW 470.72/311 Sec (21 Jul 43)SD; 21 Jul 43, sub: CWS Project 8, 
same file; 20 Jul 43, sub: CWS Proj 9, same file; 20 Jul 43, sub: CWS Proj 10, SOSCW 470.72/134- 
Ci-Sec (20 Jul 43)SD. All in Planning Div ASF Proj for Continental Opn PROCO. 

*° (1) Ltrs, CCWO ETO to TAG through CG SOS ETO, 22 Sep 43, sub: CWS Project 11; CWS 
Project 12; CWS Project ij. All SOSCW 381-Pro Sec (22 Sep 4 j) SD in Planning Div ASF, Proj for 
Continental Opn PROCO. (2) Memo, Col Carter B. Magruder, Chief Planning Div ASF, for Deputy 
Dir for Plans and Opns ASF, 28 Apr 44, sub: History of Opn] Projects for ETO. ASF SPOPP 400 
(ETO) in Off of CG ASF 400. 



smoke grenades was disapproved on the theory that increases in normal 
allowances would take care of the requirement. Projects n and 13 
were approved after a 60-percent slash. ASF again directed shipment 
of the materials specified in these modified projects and six additional 
projects in February, March, and April of 1944. The CWS ETO had 
submitted Project 14 for smoke (WP) bombs in November 1943, 
and Project 16 for smoke grenades, Project 18 for gas mask parts, and 
Project 19 for flame thrower parts and accessories in February 1944- 
In March it submitted Project 23 for flame throwers and Project 20 
for flame thrower pressure cylinders. ASF disapproved Project 17 for 
grenades and smoke pots to be used by the air forces, indicating that 
regular theater stocks would cover the requirement. It disapproved 
Project 15 for equipment to convert decontamination companies to 
smoke generator companies, and Project 22 for a combat reserve of 
smoke generators, on the ground that these materials also could be 
provided from theater stocks. Project 21 seems to have vanished from 
the record. 81 The significant feature of the 1944 projects as opposed 
to the 1943 projects was that the 1944 projects were so limited in scope 
as to seem almost niggardly. Gone were the implications of vast and 
all-out preparations for gas, smoke, and flame warfare. 

While the curtailed PROCO shipments did help out in the opera- 
tional period, PROCO did not live up to theater expectations. The 
CWS ETO undoubtedly expected too much, and it is apparent in 
retrospect that theater chemical officers got along despite shortages. 
Materials which CWS ETO requested under the original PROCO 
would certainly have added to the theater gas warfare defensive po- 
tential since they would have provided for more collective protection 
and more decontamination. ETO combat forces would probably not 
have used smoke and flame in any greater quantities had more materials 
been available. That ASF after postwar analysis found it had guessed 
right with respect to requirements does not alter the fact that ASF 

81 (1) Magruder for Dep Dir for Plans and Opns ASF, 28 Apr 44. (2) Ltrs, CCWO ETO to 
TAG through CG SOS ETO, 17 Nov 43, sub: CWS Proj 14, SOSCW j8i-Pro Sec (27 Nov 4>)SD; 
iy Jan 44, sub: C¥S Proj ij, SOSCW 581-Pro Sec (iy Jan 4 4 )SD; n Feb 44, sub: CWS Proj 18, 
SOSCW 381-Pro Sec (11 Feb 44)SD; 12 Feb 44, sub: CWS Proj 19, SOSCW 381-Pro Sec (12 Feb 
44)SD; 3 Apr 44, sub: CWS Proj 20, SOSCW 381-Pro Sec (3 Apr 44) SD; 17 Mar 44, sub: CWS 
Proj 22, SOSCW 381-Pro Sec (17 Mar 44>SD; 31 Mar 44, sub: CWS Project 23, SOSCW 381-Pro Sec 
(31 Mar 44) SD. (3) Msg WL-470, Lee (CG SOS ETO) for War, 21 Jan 44 (Project 16). (4) 
Msg W-no67> Lee for VPar, 12 Feb 44 (Project 17). 



handling of PROCO violated the principle of theater requirements 

PROCO's importance from a chemical point of view is that the 
history of the system demonstrated the lack of understanding and lack 
of adequate communication between the theater and War Department 
headquarters, and perhaps even between ASF and its technical services 
at home. Maj. Gen. LeRoy Lutes, Director for Planning and Opera- 
tions, ASF, complained in May 1944 that theater officers had misunder- 
stood and misapplied the concept of PROCO. He charged that the 
theater had failed to plan adequately in advance. 82 General Lutes 
undoubtedly had grounds for complaint as far as theater strategic and 
tactical decisions were concerned, but the CWS ETO could hardly 
have begun requirements planning any earlier since CWS officers did 
begin planning in the month of theater activation, and CWS ETO 
could hardly have had less help in such planning from ASF. Specifically 
with respect to PROCO, the War Department allowed the theater to 
labor under a misapprehension of the PROCO concept from June 
until November 1943, and apparently the War Department concept 
was not understood by the CWS ETO until the reinstatement of the 
revised projects in February 1944. Almost a year elapsed between the 
system authorization and General Lutes' statement of his complaints. 
It is not strange, therefore, that at the time of the Normandy assault 
the CWS ETO was a vigorously individualistic organization many of 
whose officers and enlisted men felt that they must meet their own 
needs without much help from the official logistics organization. The 
experience of these officers and enlisted men on the Continent was to 
confirm this belief. 

On the Continent 

The Landings 

The 1st Platoon, 30th Chemical Decontamination Company, under 
the command of 1st Lt. Bernard Miller, landed on Omaha Beach at 
H plus sixteen minutes. The platoon fought its way ashore with the 
first wave, providing grenade smoke screens to conceal infantry land- 
ings. Lieutenant Miller and six enlisted men were wounded or missing 

"Memo, Lutes for ACofS OPD, 25 May 44, sub: Opnl Projects for ETO. Ping Div ASF 400 
History of Projects. (Also cited in Ruppcnthal, Logistical Support, 7, 260). 



in action. Sgt. John J. Cunningham assumed command of the platoon, 
which then pushed on, probing for land mines, giving aid to the 
wounded, fighting as infantrymen, and providing what smoke con- 
cealment it could. At 1300 the 3d Platoon under 1st Lt. James W. 
Cassidy joined the 1st Platoon, and together they salvaged and put 
into working order a few of the M2 smoke generators which had been 
sunk on an incoming Dukw. On D plus one Capt. Milton M. Moore, 
company commander, arrived with the remainder of the company, 
and the entire unit launched more extensively into its special mission 
activity, gas reconnaissance. First Army, then commanding all 
American forces on the Continent, made few calls on the company's 
secondary mission, provision of smoke concealment, but the company 
got smoke pots ashore and set up smoke lines in the vicinity of Colle- 
ville sur Mer. By the time a company overstrength had been landed, 
14 June, the 30th Chemical Decontamination Company was in the 
supply and service business, setting up and working in supply dumps, 
furnishing showers, settling road dust, and fighting fires with power- 
driven decontaminating apparatus. 83 

The 2d Platoon, 33d Chemical Decontamination Company, went 
ashore on Utah Beach at approximately H plus 3 (0930). Since 
resistance at first was light on Utah, the 2d Platoon at once established 
the first CWS beach dump of the invasion. By D plus 2 detachments 
of the company which had landed with elements of the 531st Engineer 
Shore Regiment were ordered to assemble under the command of Lt. 
Carroll W. Wright. The assembled 33d Company expanded the 
original CWS dump into a CWS maintenance and supply dump which 
the unit operated until D plus 21. It handled about £,000 tons of 
CWS Class II and IV supplies during this period. Like their colleagues 
on Omaha Beach, the men of the 33d also performed gas reconnais- 
sance, provided showers, and fought fires. 84 

Headquarters Detachment, 60th Chemical Depot Company, Capt. 
George W. Brown, commanding, debarked on Omaha on D plus 4 
(10 June) and on the following day set up operations of a FUSA CWS 
dump at Mosles. The advance party of another detachment joined the 
33d Company on Utah on the next day. The whole company was 

83 History, 30th Cml Decontamination Co. 

M (r) History, 33d Cml Decontamination Co. (2) Gordon A. Harrison, Cross -Channel Attack, 
UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1951), PP- 302-05. 



at work operating FUSA dumps by 28 June. 85 Meanwhile, Major 
Hingle, FECOMZ chemical supply chief, arrived on D plus 13 (19 
June) in ADSEC headquarters, which had become operational three 
days earlier, to begin preparations for the FECOMZ assumption of 
supply control. He found Colonel Stubbs's ADSEC Chemical Section, 
staffed by Major Bradley and six other officers, without enlisted men 
or the scheduled stock control team. Since the invasion had not been 
going as rapidly as planned, FUSA had not transferred supply control 
to ADSEC, and the ADSEC staff members on the Continent were 
assisting FUSA while preparing for their own operational role. Hingle 
also visited Colonel Coughlan, Chemical Officer, FUSA, and learned 
from his assistant for supply, Capt. J. R. Yankhauer, that chemical 
supply, unlike that of other services, had run into no very serious 
problems. The expenditure of chemical mortar shell was running 
greater than had been expected, and a greater proportion than 
expected, about 3 5 percent, was white phosphorus shell. Both combat 
and service troops made extensive use of dust respirators and eyeshields 
against dust, and Captain Yankhauer called upon the CWS in the 
United Kingdom for increased resupply of these items. He also re- 
quested that the quota be cut on smoke materials which were piling 
up. 86 

Hingle decided that principal CVS supply efforts on the Continent 
in the immediate future would need to be directed toward storage, 
maintenance, salvage, and service. While chemical supplies were 
arriving in good shape, except for a few inevitable instances of exces- 
sively rough handling, he did not believe that all stocks would stand 
up well under the expected ninety days' open storage. Some chemical 
weapons and equipment, such as the chemical mortar and the power- 
driven decontaminating apparatus, were being employed at or beyond 
rated capacity. Flame throwers and gas masks were discarded by 
advancing troops. A number of men had their masks hit because the 
mask bulge in silhouette offered a sniper target. Some troops had 
ceased to wear gas protective clothing, and, while salvage was a quarter- 
master problem, the CWS was likely to be called upon for laundering 
garments as well as for reimpregnation. All these factors meant ex- 
tensive repair and materials rehabilitation work, particularly since the 

85 History, 60 th Cml Depot Co. 

86 Informal Comments of CWSO [Hingle to Charron, CmlO FECOMZ], 20 Jun 44. CWS 314.7 
Pers files, ETO. 


demand for mortars was increasing and that for flame throwers was 
expected to increase/ 7 FUSA also insisted that the gas warfare protec- 
tion level be maintained. While several gas warfare scares had all 
proved false, the Germans still might initiate gas warfare, Capt. 
John J. O'Brien, Acting Chemical Officer, 29th Infantry Division, 
who had been captured and had escaped, reported that the Germans 
would use any weapons in their possession, including gas, to stop the 
Allied advance. Since Allied progress at the time was halting and 
uncertain, enemy initiation of gas warfare would have been catastro- 
phic, Hingle, accordingly, in order to accelerate rehabilitation of 
protective equipment which ADSEC was gathering up, asked FUSA 
to lend its chemical maintenance company to ADSEC, and accom- 
panied Major Bradley in a search for shop space. He recommended to 
his chief, Colonel Charron, that chemical supply and service officers 
and men be sent to the Continent as soon as possible and that service 
troop build-up plans be closely followed up.* 8 

Since FECOMZ never assumed control of supply operations on the 
Continent, fl0 Colonel Charron, in his FECOMZ capacity, did not 
have the opportunity to put Major Hingle's recommendations into 
effect, but FECOMZ officers did assist ADSEC in its efforts and later 
opened the COM2 headquarters CWS section on the Continent. 
ADSEC gradually assumed responsibility for various supply installa- 
tions after FUSA, while still retaining supply control, on 20 June 
designated an ADSEC area of operations. ADSEC retained the three 
FUSA supply dumps. The dump at Mosles it converted into a Class 
II and IV depot while the the dump at Longuevjlle behind Omaha 
became a Class V depot and that at Audouville-Ia-Hubert behind 
Utah became an all-classes depot. Audouville materials were soon 
transferred to a permanent installation at Montebourg, and both 
Audouville and Longueville were closed out by COMZ in October, 
The American lodgment on the Continent failed to grow as planned, 
but manpower increased almost on schedule, as Hingle had hoped, and 
tonnages, despite port and beachhead discharge difficulties, accumu- 

"Tht flame chrower demand did not moralize, tut the OTS couW not afford to be unprepared m 
c^ent demand should ?ri?e. 

* [Hingle to Charron], 10 Jun, 11 Jun, 21 Jun 44. CWS 314 7 Files, BTO. 
" Ruppcnthal, Logistical Support, I f 436* 



lated at a rate in excess of the June-August needs. The ADSEC Chem- 
ical Section accordingly established an all-classes depot at Cherbourg, 
a II and IV depot at Villedieu, a II and IV depot and an ammunition 
depot at Le Mans, and at Rennes an all-classes depot, which COMZ 
split into a II and IV and an ammunition depot. The 65 th and 7th 
Chemical Depot Companies and the 66th and 9th Chemical Base 
Depot Companies operated these installations while the 71 ith Chemical 
Maintenance Company set up a shop at Valognes, the site of the first 
continental COMZ headquarters. 00 

On D plus 20 St. John analyzed the chemical supply situation on 
the Continent. He noted critical shortages of mortars and mortar parts 
and expressed the belief that flame thrower supply would not meet 
demand. On the other hand, he took the view that some protection 
and decontamination materials were excess to all future needs while 
smoke materials, for which he expected demand to increase, were 
adequate for the time being. 91 In reply to these observations, General 
Porter indicated that while the theater had reached or slightly exceeded 
supply authorizations in all categories mentioned except mortar spare 
parts, he could not concede that any of these excesses were significant. 
Porter believed that the parts need could be met by supplying an over- 
age of complete mortars. The CWS had no outstanding unfilled orders 
from the theater, and General Porter was powerless to increase any 
allotment without a specific theater request approved through War 
Department channels. 92 As in the case of NATO-MTO CWS supply, 
here was the rub. A supply crisis was coming in the ETO which would 
affect the CWS, although not as extensively as the other services, but 
the individuals most concerned could do little to forestall its arrival. 
Although the theater had top supply priority over all other theaters 
and although the theater commander was firmly committed to the 
policy of giving combat commanders everything they desired, the 
exigencies of transportation and War Department-controlled supply 
authorization procedures tended to block timely measures for pre- 
venting a crisis. Just how much of the ensuing supply crisis might be 
attributable to physical limitations in obtaining and moving supplies 
and how much to the complications of supply management in the 

*°(i) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, J, 434-44. (2) History, FECOMZ. (3) History, ADSEC 
(4) History, Sup Div, II. 
61 St. John to Porter, 28 Jun 44. 
M Porter to St. John, 2 Aug 44. 



theater and in the United States is, from the CWS point of view, 
impossible to say. 

The Supply Crisis 

General Rowan, on D plus 44, pointed out even more vigorously than 
Colonel St. John the critical nature of mortar parts and ammunition 
supply. He suggested to General Waitt that the CWS plan to double 
its production quotas for those items. The last CWS ETO ammunition 
requisition, he wrote, had been cut in half, presumably by NYPE, and 
he had been unable to determine on what basis the cut was made. 93 
The CWS in the United States could not raise its production quotas 
until theater recommendations for increases in War Department 
allowances had been approved* Three weeks later Rowan paid a 
flying visit to his new office, which Charron had established in the 
Valognes COMZ headquarters. Rowan joined St, John for a tour of 
mortar units, field headquarters, and forward areas- He found the 
CWS supply situation still satisfactory on the whole, but he noted 
not only that the shortage of mortars, mortar parts, and ammunition 
was critical but also that some of the mortar battalion equipment 
needed replacement*** 

As the combat forces broke out of the beachhead in July 1944 and 
headed toward Germany, all chemical sections in the combat organiza- 
tion became increasingly involved in supply, 9 * The chemical sections 
in the base sections became active, as ADSEC had already been, in 
the support of combat organizations. The 1 2th Army Group Chemical 
Section allotted supplies to the armies and kept Rowan's office and 
sometimes the base section chemical officers informed as to long-range 
requirements and immediate needs. 9 * The 12th Army Group Chemical 
Section considered protective supply adequate throughout the Euro- 
pean campaigns except for a brief period late in 1944 when "cold set' 1 
destroyed the usefulness of the synthetic rubber face piece of the light- 
weight mask.* 7 The First and Third Army chemical officers likewise 

** Personal Ltr, Rowan \o Wakt, 30 Jul 44- CWS su>7 Pers Files, ETO, 

** Memo, Rowan i nc addressee, sub: Notes on Trip to Far Share, 16 Aug 44, in Ltr, Rowan tn 
Wake, 2 Sep 44- CVS 3147 Pers Files, ETO. 

* Set ibovc jch, lf| 

" (1 ) Mac Arthur Incerv, 19 Sep 61. (z) Leggjn Intervi, 13 Oct £1, 22 Nov 45* (3) Powers 
Incerv, 24 Sep tjj. 

* 1 2%h Army Group, Rpt of Op a*, vol. XI, Cml Warfare Scc + 

the chemical warfare service 

considered protection adequate except in isolated circumstances, ftS 
Dissent on the adequacy of protection came from base section chemical 
officers who felt that, in the early period on the Continent, the CWS 
distribution plan looked better on paper than it did in practice. The 
problem was that since supplies were so scattered about in dumps and 
since so much equipment, especially masks, had been abandoned by 
troops moving forward, it would have been a tremendous and perhaps 
impossible task to assemble, rehabilitate, and reissue protective equip- 
ment in event of need, 89 Fortunately, no large-scale call for protective 
equipment was made until the following December by which time 
chemical service units had collected and refurbished protective equip- 
ment. Also, by December the distribution system was working well 
with the aid of a considerable amount of troubleshooting from most 
chemical officers in both COMZ and combat organizations. 100 

The CWS supply problems began to multiply with the September 
1944 supply crisis. Most of these problems arose not because of the 
malfunctioning of the distribution system but because of a general 
shortage of supplies, equipment, and transportation- The CWS problem 
was increased by the flaws in certain chemical items, notably chemical 
mortar shell, spare parts, and protective materials. 

l ar Shell 

The armies were moving rapidly forward in September when Rowan 
and the United Kingdom section of his office moved into the new 
COMZ headquarters in Paris, Supply of fast-moving items was by 
then on a hand-to-mouth basis. General Rowan personally visited the 
ports to expedite the distribution of chemical mortar shell which was 
finally arriving from the United States, Shortage of docking facilities 
frequently made it difficult to unload ships. But, when he could get 
shells ashore, he got the theater chief of ordnance to allot railway 
ammunition cars for his use and he had these cars included in priority 
supply trains. Usually no more than one day's reserve of shell was 
available in forward areas, 101 

In November two barrel bursts of high explosive shell in chemical 

11 (ij Gun in Iattrv, j Dec 4J- (*) Wellington Interv, 1 Dec jj t 
w (1) Wright Interv T id Jul 61, {2) Chtisrcnsen Inters 13,23 Oct 6k 
m (i) ChrUremen truer v*. 13, i) Oct *i. 
1R Kowan Tnterv, 16 S*p jB. 



mortars led to the assumption that some shell was defective* 103 This 
assumption complicated the supply situation since no one knew how 
much of the available stocks was serviceable. But in the same month, 
when a shell shortage in southern France imperiled operations supplied 
by Southern Line of Communications (SOLOC), the CWS ETO 
released 50,000 shells to SOLOC in return for a December shipment 
scheduled for that area/ 03 Chemical mortar units in northern France 
had enough shells at the time to continue operations although rationing 
was frequently necessary. But rationing had been necessary from time 
to time since early in the Normandy campaign and, while mortar men 
could have used more shell, the 20 rounds per weapon per day usually 
allotted against the official 25 to 30 rounds per day of supply was 
enough to keep them going, In December, 12th Army Group Chemical 
Section, the agency charged with shell allocation, requested 40 rounds 
per weapon per day for the next six months. lM Using the 40 -round 
base for all the 10 battalions then In the theater and assuming 36 oper- 
ational mortars per battalion as allotted under the tables of organization 
and equipment then going into effect, the 12th Army Group recom- 
mendation would have meant immediate supply of almost 1 y,ooo 
shells per day. Computed on the basis of ij battalions in the line in 
1945 nearly 22,000 rounds per day would have been required* 105 The 
1 2th Army Group ammunition supply goal was never reached. 

In January 1945, barrel and muzzle bursts reached epidemic pro- 
portions. During theater and OCCWS investigations of the problem, 
CWS ETO impounded lot after lot of shell until nearly the whole 
theater supply was impounded. Allotment per weapon sometimes fell 
from twenty to ten rounds per day, When spring weather came, faulty 
shell ceased to be a problem. Shell supply improved, but supply never 
equaled demand during the period of combat. 100 

toa Personal Ltr. Powers, CmiO nth Army Group, to Porter, a* Nov 44* 3M*7 Pe« 


lfli History! Sup DW, 1L 

J04 Leggm Interv, 21 Nov 4 < - 

ini See Brooby and Fisher, Organizing for War, [appendix H-il for information on battilioiu in the 
cheater. Si 1 teen battalions Had entered action by V-E Day, btit the sixteenth saw only a few day* of 

*°* (1 ) Rowan Znterv. ztf Sep f8. (1) Leggin Interv, it No* 41* (J) For more detail 1 on tht 
faulty shell problem, see below, [Qiiptet XJH| 



Spare Parts 

The parts situation also failed to improve during continental opera- 
tions. According to Rowan the 'Mack of spare parts was the outstand- 
ing failure of the American Army supply system, and the CWS was 
just as bad as the rest of the technical services." 107 In early October, 
CWS ETO found it necessary to embargo all CWS spare parts issues 
except "Red Ball Express" shipments which were directed to chemical 
maintenance companies operating with the armies* Issue for levels of 
maintenance less than major overhaul was banned. Some items in need 
of repair, such as masks, dust respirators, and hand decontaminating 
apparatus, were exchanged for serviceable items in lieu of repair* 10 " 
Chemical maintenance companies repaired chemical mortars, flame 
throwers, and power-driven decontaminating apparatus on a "parts 
available" basis and exchange items were supplied, with the specific 
approval of the Supply Division, CWS ETO, when parts were not 
available but alternative end items were. The maintenance companies 
also fabricated parts whenever possible and some parts which would 
normally have been considered beyond repair were rebuilt. Late in 
1944 orders were given to French firms for rhe manufacture of parts 
for mortars, smoke generators, then being heavily employed to produce 
tactical smoke concealment, and flame throwers. In January 194?, the 
CWS ETO engaged firms in Belgium and Luxembourg to manufacture 
mortar base plates, reinforcing plates, shock absorber slides, cup forks, 
tube caps, and base caps- As in the case of manufacture in Italy, 
many chemical officers preferred the parts manufactured in Europe 
to those shipped from the United States. In Europe greater skill and 
better equipment were available for small parts manufacture than in 
the war-burdened United States industry. 109 

The CWS spare parts team which surveyed the theater situation in 
1 94J found parts supply still inadequate, and General Waitt confirmed 
this finding in his visit to the theater at the end of the war. 110 

im Rowan Comments 16 Dec 60 > 

1M The mask pares situation was one of ihe few not critical. The principal problem here was the great 
volume &f maintenance work caused by abuse &f the mask. Rowan Comment^ 16 Dec 60. 

2W <i) History, Sup Div, II. (2) Histories, 211th (711J1), nth, i\th, and ^th Cml Maintenance 
Cos. (3) Migness In tens j May f «?♦ (4) Rowan Comments, 16 Dec 60. 

11 * (0 OCC^rS, Final Rpt, CWS Spare Parts Team in MTO and ETO. Dec 44-Fefe 45, prepared by 
OCCWS, 19 Jufl 4f ■ (*) JOM, U Col J. C Morgan, Chief War Planning Br OCCWS> for Chief Wai 
Plani and Theaters Div OCCWS, 13 Apr 41. fnh- Topics for Diicowion in ETO and MTO* CWS 
Observer Rpts. 

Protective Material 

Although FUSA and FUSAG insisted on having each individual 
maintain his gas mask during the beachhead period, the breakthrough 
and rapid advance after the end of July brought a change in attitude. 
Many commanders and some chemical officers assumed there would be 
no further risk of gas warfare. Indeed, SHAEF itself seemed to 
assume that the risk of gas warfare was past and St. John, whose 
position in SHAEF was abolished in the fall, did not express disagree- 
ment. 111 Mac Arthur and other members of the FUSAG/ 1 2 th Army 
Group staff were concerned lest mistreatment and abandonment of 
the mask by individual soldiers drastically reduce the gas warfare 
defensive preparedness on the Continent. They consequently decided 
to act upon General Bradley's suggestion that masks be withdrawn 
from individual soldiers on the organization commander's option. One 
of St. John's final acts in his SHAEF position was to make the army 
group decision SHAEF policy. 

Rowan conceded, in September, that reduction in the theater pro- 
tective clothing level was not inconsistent with the calculated risk 
policy. He further advised reducing the protective clothing reserve to 
two-layer protection for 50 percent rather than 100 percent of theater 
strength as he had earlier recommended. 112 Commanders in most cases 
authorized the withdrawal of protective clothing and masks from indi- 
viduals. The masks were theoretically available in unit supply trains. 
A number of chemical officers felt that calling masks back to regimental 
and even divisional trains was a hazardous policy, particularly since 
it was reasonable to expect the likelihood of gas warfare to increase 
as the German homeland was approached. In October when he suc- 
ceeded MacArthur, who had been requested for a position in the 
United States, Colonel Powers strongly expressed his disapproval of 
the mask policy. 113 

Powers paid a call on the Supreme Commander, General Eisenhower, 
a prewar fellow staff officer. He expressed his misgivings concerning 
protective policy to General Eisenhower and General Bradley, who 
happened to be visiting the supreme commander. General Eisenhower 

111 Personal Ltrs, St, John to Waitt, i Sep 44; to Col Lowell A. Elliott, Deputy CCWS, 23 Oct 44; 
to Elliott, 8 Nov 44. 

n3 Personal Ltrs, Rowan to Waitt, 17 Sep 44. (2) See above, |""p. 167 1 The actual reserve au- 
thorization at the time of the Normandy operation had been 35 percent double-layer protection* 
118 Powers Interv, 24 Sep 59. 


indicated that he thought German initiation of gas warfare most 
unlikely, but he displayed some interest in the defensive situation. 114 
Although not immediately successful in his campaign to increase the 
availability of individual protection, Colonel Powers found he had 
strong support among the Army chemical officers. He recommended 
to the Chief of Staff, 12th Army Group, that the theater be requested 
to reverse the policy decision so that each individual soldier could again 
carry a mask. 116 

The 1 2th Army Group did request a change which was approved 
by SHAEF in December. Shortly thereafter the German counterattack 
in the Ardennes threatened the American advance and many com- 
manders were given added incentive to insure individual gas protection 
since it appeared conceivable that the German forces might try to 
consolidate their initial success in the Battle of the Bulge by using gas. 
The reissue of masks caused a flurry throughout the CWS supply 
system. Some organizations could find no trace of their masks. Others 
discovered that many masks had become unserviceable because of fre- 
quent moves and poor storage conditions. One corps chemical officer 
finally managed to scrape up enough transportation to send several 
truckloads of masks forward, only to hear that both trucks and masks 
were destroyed or captured in the German advance. Spot issues to 
replace such losses caused temporary shortages, but fortunately the 
reserve was large enough so that demands could be met and reserves 
restocked from the United States on an emergency basis. 116 St. John's 
assertion that there were enough masks in the theater to cover all the 
faces of Europe and Asia proved to be even more overdrawn than he 
had intended. 117 Some of Powers' colleagues were critical of his action, 
contending that his lack of experience in the theater made him over- 
zealous. The possibility exists, however, that the reissue of masks, which 
could hardly have been unknown to German intelligence, deterred the 
Germans from exploiting what would have been an excellent oppor- 
tunity to turn the Bulge into a World War II Ypres. 118 

The maintenance load imposed by mask rehabilitation, particularly 
in view of occasional parts shortages, was very heavy. When "cold set" 

w Personal Ltrs, Powers to Elliott, 7 Nov 44, and to Porter, 21 Nov 44. 

118 (1) Rowan Interv, 26 Sep 58. (2) Powers Interv, 24 Sep jj. (3) Barta Interv, 23 Sep 59. 
117 See above, |p. 166] 
118 Leggin Interv, 13 Oct 61. 


(cold weather hardening) was discovered in reclaimed and synthetic 
rubber mask facepieces during the winter, the CWS ETO mainte- 
nance burden became greater than the maintenance units could 
handle. 119 Since the facepieces hardened by "cold set" could not be 
properly fitted, CWS ETO contracted with eight French firms for 
the exchange of 400,000 faulty facepieces for the natural rubber face- 
piece from the old-style mask. At the same time another French firm 
initiated remanufacture of old-style gas mask carriers into 133,000 
lightweight mask carriers. 120 After considerable effort, the CWS ETO 
successfully met the challenge of bringing protective supply up to a 
highly effective level for the remainder of the war. 

The CWS ETO Supply System — Final Form 

Considering the many unexpected problems it ran into, the CWS 
ETO supply system changed amazingly little during the period of 
continental operation. The credit system continued to operate effec- 
tively although during the fall supply crisis it became necessary to 
delegate credit allocation for ammunition and certain critical supplies 
to 1 2th Army Group. Supply Division, CWS ETO, headed during 
the entire period on the Continent by Col. Frederick E. Powell, con- 
tinued to allocate credits for normal Class II and IV supply. The 
supply pattern brought materials into CWS branch depots from the 
ports and beaches. 121 CWS ETO established forty such depots under 
COMZ control in the advance across France and Germany. Supply 
Division or 12th Army Group allocated materials in depots to using 
organizations on credits or assigned them to reserve stocks. Credit 
allocation notices were forwarded to ADSEC or to Continental Ad- 
vance Section (CON AD) , to the regulating stations which distributed 
materials to combat echelons, to the depot commanders, and to the 
credited organizations. The using combat organizations in northern 
France and northern Germany then called forward from the depots 
through the regulating stations and ADSEC, or in southern France 
and Germany, through CONAD, such materials from their credited 

319 ( 1 ) For a discussion of "cold set," see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From Laboratory to FieMy 
I PP 3 23~ 2 4> I ( 2 ) Leggin telephoned the development authorities in the United States when "cold set*' was 
discovered to ask advice. The only recommendation offered was that the CWS ETO provide warm stor- 
age for masks! (Leggin Interv, ij Oct 6j.) 

"° History, Sup Div, II. 

141 No general depots were established on the Continent. 


stocks as they desired. The using organization, the regulating stations, 
and the advance section could always easily calculate the quantities of 
any item to be transported and the quantities remaining to the credit 
of any organization in the depots. 122 

History, Sup Div, II. 


CWS Administration: Pacific 

The CWS in the West and Southwest Pacific, 1941-42 

Defending the Philippines 

After the Japanese attacked Clark Field on 8 December 1941 and 
brought World War II to the Philippines, Col. Stuart A. Hamilton, 
Chemical Officer, Philippine Department, the 14 officers, 27J enlisted 
men, and iz Philippine Scouts assigned to the CWS in the Philippines 
immediately stepped up efforts to prepare for gas warfare. 1 Intensive 
preparations for gas warfare in the department had begun the preceding 
spring with the dedication of a new impregnating plant in the Manila 
port area for the production of gas resistant clothing. By the day of 
the attack the department's defense preparations were in many respects 
satisfactory, but chemical officers were disturbed that training rather 
than service masks had been the authorized issue to individual soldiers 
and that the protective clothing supply was completely inadequate 
even with the new plant in operation. 

Both the U.S. forces and the enemy greatly feared that the other's 
next move would be a gas attack. On 8 December the Japanese assault 
commanders on Formosa issued masks to their troops. 2 In Manila, 
requests for masks poured in to the departmental chemical office. On 
10 December General Mac Arthur's Headquarters, United States Army 

'This section is based on: (i) Log Book and Journal — CWS, Hq Philippine Dcpt USAFFE and 
USFIP, 8 Dec 41-17 Apr 42, (Mailed to CCWS in one of the last mails leaving the Philippine Islands 
before the surrender.) CWS 319.1/2271- (2) Hamilton to CCWS, 6 Apr 1946, Rpt, Personal Ex- 
periences During World War II. (3) Hamilton to CG USFIP (Gen Jonathan M. Wainwright), 12 
Nov 46, Rpt Activities, CWS, Philippine Islands, World War II. (4) Louis Morton, The Fall of the 
Philippines, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1953). (j) Lt Col 
Charles A. Morgan, Jr., Comments on draft of this volume, 16 Jan 61. 

3 Morton, Fall of the Philippines, p. 80. 



Forces, Far East (USAFFE), ordered training masks exchanged for 
service masks. On the same day the CWS began issuing service masks 
to Philippine Army units. Some training and service masks were later 
provided for civilian employees of the Army, Chemical troops under 
1st Lt. Charles A. Morgan, Jr., operated the new impregnating plant 
on a 24-hour basis until 23 December, when the power plant was 
bombed. The clothing was to provide individual protection against 
expected gas attacks and to equip unit gas warfare decontamination 
details. About a week later Colonel Hamilton supervised the destruc- 
tion of the plant, along with supplies and records, to prevent capture. 
After the loss of the plant, the CWS contingent on Bataan continued 
clothing impregnation by hand in order to finish equipping the de- 
contamination squads. A day after the plant was destroyed Hamilton 
moved his office into an improvised chemical laboratory in the Malinta 
Tunnel, Fort Mills, Corregidor. The CWS hastily completed part of 
a large gasproofing project so that the ventilating blowers could be 
used to make the Malinta Tunnel usable for a hospital, offices, and 

The few CWS officers and men not continuously used as infantry 
labored mightily to adapt existing materials to emergency needs. 
Hamilton's men improvised field plants to produce liquid bleach 
(chloride of lime) for sanitation purposes both on Bataan and Cor- 
regidor. These plants used lime and liquid chlorine originally intended 
for decontamination of vesicant gases. Bleach was also used as an 
insecticide by the hospitals, around latrines, and on the battlefields. 
The field plant on Corregidor continued to operate even after the 
Japanese occupation. The CWS laboratory assayed and packaged an- 
other vesicant decontaminant, high-test hypochlorite, for water puri- 
fication. The Philippine Chemical Depot staff, operating on Bataan, 
prepared tiki-tiki extract from rice bran for the prevention and 
treatment of beriberi and polyneuritis, but an effort to develop a 
substitute for quinine sulphate was only partially successful. The 
CWS also converted FS smoke fillings from Livens projectors and 
4.2-inch chemical mortar shells into sulphuric acid to keep in operation 
the storage batteries in electric generator units, radio sets, and vehicles. 
After an enemy bomb destroyed the first field acid plant and killed 
four of its five operators, another plant was set up where production 
continued until the week of the Corregidor surrender. To aid the 



fighting units, Lt. Frank L. Schaf, Jr., CWS, assisted by a U.S. Navy 
detachment, improvised a flame thrower from two 3 -gallon decon- 
taminating apparatus. The chemical depot group also contributed to 
the fighting units thousands of Molotov cocktails hastily improvised 
from beer bottles and other scrap materials. 

When not busy with emergency improvisations, the CWS laboratory 
analyzed and described captured Japanese materials, such as gas masks 
and canisters, explosive charges, and flame throwers, brought in by 
men of the Philippine Chemical Depot. These analyses and descriptions 
were radioed to OCCWS, and samples of captured equipment were 
shipped to the United States. When surrender seemed inevitable, the 
CWS destroyed all remaining chemical materials. Colonel Hamilton 
and his surviving men were taken prisoner after the surrender of 
Corregidor on 6 May 1942 and remained in Japanese prison camps 
for the rest of the war. 

Establishment in Australia 

On 7 December 1941 the 3d Chemical Field Laboratory Company 
was aboard a Pacific convoy carrying units and individual officers and 
men destined to augment the American forces in the Philippines. On 
12 December Brig. Gen. Julian F. Barnes, the senior officer aboard, 
organized the Army forces in the convoy into Task Force, South 
Pacific, and appointed a general and special staff. The War Depart- 
ment next day ordered General Barnes's convoy and task force to 
proceed to Australia where Barnes would assume command of United 
States troops. The convoy docked at Brisbane on 22 December, and 
General Barnes spent the following month straightening out the con- 
fused command situation, organizing the United States Army Forces 
in Australia (USAFIA) at Melbourne, and making desperate and 
unsuccessful attempts to send troops, aircraft, and supplies to the 
Philippines. On 28 January 1942 Capt. John C. Morgan, an officer 
of the 3d Chemical Field Laboratory Company, set about establishing 
a chemical section in USAFIA. CoL William A. Copthorne arrived 
on 2 February with a number of experienced officers and enlisted men. 
Known as the Remember Pearl Harbor Group, these men were being 
rushed to the Pacific to serve wherever senior command and staff 
officers and specialists were needed. Copthorne became chemical officer 



and was assigned to the USAFIA chief of staff's special mission for 
co-ordinating relief shipments to Corregidor. 3 

The CWS, U. S. Army Forces in Australia 

Colonel Copthorne and Maj. John C. Morgan, now assigned as 
Copthorne's executive officer, tackled the job of setting up a CWS 
for USAFIA. First, they had to set up and staff the territorial organi- 
zation in Australia and allocate personnel and units among other 
organizations, both those already in the area and those being activated. 
Then there was the task of providing chemical supplies for American 
forces. The third undertaking was the establishment of CWS planning 
and training functions. And the fourth act was to expand and super- 
vise CWS technical and technical intelligence functions established by 
the laboratory company. 

Six numerically designated base sections with headquarters at Dar- 
win, Townsville, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth were set 
up on 3 March 1942. The seventh base section was established at 
Sydney in the following month. Sixteen CWS officers arrived in April, 
and Copthorne managed to assign one or two officers and one or two 
enlisted men to the chemical section of each base section, after a brief 
period of training and orientation in his own office. Chemical officers, 
like other base section special staff officers, were directly responsible 
to their chief of service in matters of plans, policies, and supply, but 
they served the additional function of advisers to base section com- 
manders under whose administrative control they worked. Since the 
original intention of the Australian establishment was to support 
Lt, Gen. George H. Brett's Far East Air Force, Copthorne and Morgan, 
who held a second position as chemical officer in the Air Section, 
USAFIA, also sought to provide chemical manpower and service for 
the air forces. 4 His ability to accomplish such work was severely 

3 (1) MS, Mil History of USASOS in the Southwest Pacific, vol. I (hereafter cited as History, 
USASOS). OCMH. (2) Elizabeth Bingham and Richard Leighton, MS, Development of the U.S. 
Supply Base in Australia, pp. i-io. OCMH. (3) Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col John C. Morgan, 
1 Oct 45. (4) Col William A. Copthorne, USA (Ret.), Comments on draft of this volume, 13 Jan 61. 
(5) Col John C. Morgan, USAR (Ret.), Comments on draft of this volume, 9 Feb 61. 

* The United States establishment in Australia had been set up to provide air and logistical support for 
the Philippines and for the forces operating in the Netherlands East Indies. After Japanese seizure of 
the Netherlands East Indies and after it proved to be impossible to support the Philippines, Fast Ease Air 
Force was inactivated and the conception of the American command in Australia as predominantly an 
air command was abandoned. The air command, subsequently designated Fifth Air Force, became an 
important element of the Allied land, naval, and air forces. History, USASOS, vol. I. 



limited by lack of officers and men and by a lack of information as 
to air forces chemical organization and duties. The information finally 
arrived from OCCWS in July, and two months later the theater 
acquired enough personnel to activate four chemical air operations 
companies, using detachments and a platoon of the 3d Chemical 
Service Company (Aviation), already in the theater, as nuclei. 5 

Organizing the Chemical Section, U.S. Army Services of Supply 

In March 1942 Allied leaders designated the Pacific as one of the 
three main theaters for prosecuting the war against the Axis, The 
Joint Chiefs of Staff in turn subdivided the Pacific into areas: the 
Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) from Australia to the Philippines, 
and the Pacific Ocean Areas (POA) to the east of the Philippines, 

the Netherlands East Indies, and Australia. {Map 2) POA was again 
subdivided into North Pacific Area, Central Pacific Area (CENPAC) 
(including the Hawaiian, Gilbert, Marshall, Mariana, Bonin, and 
Ryukyu Islands), and South Pacific Area (SOPAC) (including New 
Zealand and New Caledonia) . POA came under the command of Ad- 
miral Chester W. Nimitz who designated a deputy to head the South 
Pacific Area. In April MacArthur, now in Australia, organized GHQ, 
SWPA, an Allied and supreme command over all air, land, and sea 
forces in the area. 6 The Southwest Pacific Area was not technically a 
theater but GHQ, SWPA in mission and responsibility was an Allied 
headquarters as well as the senior American strategic and tactical 
headquarters in the area. After the creation of GHQ, USAFIA became 
a supply and service headquarters, 7 redesignated United States Army 
Services of Supply (USASOS) in July. Copthorne retained his posi- 
tion in USAFIA and its successor. Although he was regarded as chief 
chemical officer for the U.S. forces, he had no direct role in GHQ. 
By 1 July Copthorne and Morgan had their section in operation. The 

6 (1) History, USASOS. (2) Interv, Hist Off with Col Burton D. Willis and Col Robert N. Gay, 
12 Jun 50. Colonel Willis' first assignments were chemical officer of the base sections at Brisbane and 
later at Townsville. (3) Personal Ltr, Copthorne, CCmlO USAFIA, to Brig Gen Alexander Wilson, 
Chief Field Serv OCCWS, 13 Jul 42. CWS 319. 1 1942. (4) Personal Ltr, Copthorne to Porter, 17 
Aug 42. CWS 314.7 Pers Files, SWPA. (All personal letters hereafter cited, unless otherwise noted, 
are from this file.) 

a Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-42, pp. 164-73. 

7 The term theater will hereafter be used to indicate each of the Pacific areas and the senior U.S. 
Army headquarters therein. The North Pacific and the South Pacific Areas will not be considered here 
since the major features of the Chemical Warfare Service experience are apparent in the SWPA and 
POA accounts. 



MAP 2 

technical function, involving liaison with Australian chemical warfare 
authorities, and the supervision of the chemical laboratory, recently 
redesignated the 426 Chemical Laboratory Company, Copthorne exer- 
cised through his technical and intelligence officer, Maj. Walter W. F. 
Enz. Capt. Arthur H. Williams, Jr., handled fiscal and administrative 
matters, including supply, and was purchasing and contracting officer 
for the CWS. Capt. Carl V. Burke was operations and training officer. 
One other officer and three enlisted men completed the section. 8 

8 (i) History, USASOS. (2) History, Cml Sec Hq USASOS, SVPA Orgn Files, AFWESPAC, 
Folder USASOS History of Cml Warfare School, APO 923, Jul 42-May 44. (3) Ltr, Copthorne to 
Hist Off, 16 Feb ji. (4)Copthorne Comments, 13 Jan 61. (y) Morgan Comments, 9 Feb 61. 



Copthorne was the only CWS Regular Army officer in SWPA, not 
only at the time of organization but also for another year. A Military 
Academy graduate, he was j2 years of age at the time and had seen 
service in World War I but not overseas. He had a variety of chemical 
experience, including a tour as Philippine Department chemical 
officer, a tour as a corps area chemical officer in the United States, and 
had most recently been an instructor at the Army's Command and 
General Staff School 9 

Supply was a very difficult matter to handle. Since there had been 
no preplanning for a theater headquarters based in Australia, all sup- 
plies obtained in the early period were destined for arriving organiza- 
tions. There was no theater reserve. American forces supplies and 
services of all kinds were obtained from the Australians when possible 
through a necessarily complicated series of procedures which prevented 
a fatal drain on the Australian economy and which precluded compe- 
tition among American and Allied forces for available goods and 
services. Captain Williams had little to work with; Copthorne wrote 
to OCCWS that he could determine neither theater strength nor the 
availability of supplies in the hands of troops. 10 

The Theater CWS School 

The training job was more readily, although not easily, handled. 
Copthorne urged all base section chemical officers to give the troops 
as much chemical training as possible. Many of them were too short- 
handed to accomplish much training outside their immediate head- 
quarters, but Maj. Burton D. Willis, Chemical Officer, Base Section 3 
in Brisbane, had a larger staff, and he could call upon the 42nd Chemical 
Laboratory Company (formerly the 3d Chemical Field Laboratory). 
He gave several courses in chemical warfare defense, using a classroom 
in the University of Queensland. Although base section training was 
on a part-time basis, such training was a good foundation on which 
to build, and Copthorne dispatched Captain Burke to open a theater 
school. On 12 July 1942 Burke reported to the Brisbane base section 
headquarters to establish a chemical warfare school for all American 
forces. Since no authority existed for such an establishment, Burke 

9 CMLHO Biographical Sketches, Copthorne was also Acting Adjutant General, USAFIA, from 
March to May 1942. 

10 Copthorne to Wilson, 13 Jul 42. 



officially assumed the operation of the base section school while in 
fact preparing for the establishment of a SWPA CWS school. The 
first class with thirty-three unit gas officer students was in session 
before the school was approved in August, and the third class, also 
of unit gas officers, was ready to graduate before September, when the 
school officially became a theater activity as part of the Chemical 
Warfare Service Training Center. 11 

Burke started his school in a converted private residence with one 
officer and two enlisted assistants. He called on Willis, soon promoted 
to lieutenant colonel, on officers of the laboratory company, the 61A 
Chemical Depot Company, and on the ioth Chemical Maintenance 
Company to assist him with instruction. In the following year, with 
a peak staff of five officers, the CW school conducted thirty courses, 
including those for unit gas officers, unit gas noncommissioned officers, 
and special, technical, decontaminating, and demonstration courses for 
other soldiers. These courses, usually of two weeks* duration, graduated 
nearly 1,000 students. 12 But even this accomplishment was not equal 
to the task at hand of training and retraining SWPA forces in defense 
against gas warfare. Even before the school started, Copthorne drew 
upon his meager supply of officers, again supplementing them with 
details from the chemical service units, to establish four mobile training 
teams for the purpose of instructing widely dispersed units in chemical 
warfare defense. In driving home instruction these training teams 
demonstrated chemical warfare defensive and decontaminating equip- 
ment and tested procedures in which live toxic agents were used. The 
demonstrations and tests were usually given at company level for 
selected officers and NCO's. Length of instruction varied from a few 
hours to two days, according to the company's needs and schedules. 13 

The training teams, like the school, were attached to the Chemical 
Warfare Service Training Center, which was supported by the base 
section headquarters at Brisbane. The training center, in addition to 
administering the school and the teams, also arranged or conducted 
special co-operative instruction and demonstrations which called for 

11 (i) Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col Carl V. Burke, 1 8 Jan 46. (1) Summary of Past History of 
the Cml Warfare School, APO 923 {hereafter cired as History, Cm] Warfare School). Orgn Files, 
AFWESPAC, Folder USASOS History of Cml Warfare School, APO 923. (3) Willis-Gay Interv, 11 
Jun jo. 

u History, Cml Warfare School. 

14 (1) History, Cml Sec USASOS. (1) Burke Interv, 28 Jan 46. (3) Copthorne Comments, 13 
Jan 6k 



Annex Building, Chemical Warfare School, Brisbane, Australia 

more equipment or a greater instruction load than the school or the 
teams could handle individually. Standard U.S. training aids and 
equipment were not available. Major Enz acquired a small laboratory 
at the University of Melbourne and manufactured gas identification 
sets using commercial materials and toxics furnished by the Australian 
and American Armies. Instructors or chemical service units fabricated 
other equipment and aids. The school got very little instruction and 
no materials from the United States, but it did benefit by an exchange 
of information with the Australian Antigas School near Toowoomba. 14 
The newly established training facilities were used by the 3 2d and 
41st Infantry Divisions, first American tactical ground forces organi- 
zations in the theater. The 41st Division had reached Australia on 
7 April 1942, and the 32d Division on 14 May 1942. Both organizations 

u Burke Interv, 28 Jan 46. 



included chemical sections, the 41st section headed by Maj, Frank M. 
Arthur, and the 3 2d section by Capt. Edward H. Sandell. Both of 
these officers established division chemical warfare schools. 15 

When General MacArthur converted USAFIA into USASOS on 
20 July 1942, general and special staffs retained their responsibilities 
virtually unchanged. Such reorganization as was accomplished was 
apparently intended to bring USASOS into line with a War Depart- 
ment directive for theater communications zone organization. 16 
Copthorne felt that there should be a chemical officer in General Mac- 
Arthur's GHQ, but, he also felt that for the time being his location 
in USASOS permitted him close supervision of the matters in which 
the CWS had the greatest immediate concern. 17 A position in GHQ 
would presumably have been an Allied staff position similar to the one 
which Shadle had just taken over in AFHQ, Since there was no World 
War I precedent and since Shadle's was the only such CWS appoint- 
ment in World War II, a like appointment in GHQ would have been 

CWS Functions 

CWS functions of immediate concern were those of personnel, 
supply, and training, as they had been earlier; but now Copthorne also 
had reason to become deeply interested in the technical preparations 
for gas warfare. As theater chemical officers the world over were then 
discovering or were about to discover, he had found that they had 
"almost an independent Chemical Warfare Service out here*" 18 The 
manifestation of this independence in SWPA was not, as in other 
theaters, in the realm of supply, but rather in the provision of technical 
chemical information to all forces in the theater and in the exchange 
of information with the Allies. As far as supply was concerned, the 
time lag between the United States and the theater was so great that 
the individual service could as yet do little to influence shipments. 
Distribution within the theater was tightly controlled by USASOS 
since critically short transportation had to be centrally controlled- In 
technical matters, however, Copthorne had charge of the only full- 
fledged laboratory in the theater, and he strongly believed that it was 

"History, USASOS, pp. 27-29. 

"Personal Ltr, Copthorne to Porter, 17 Aug 42. 




to the advantage of the service for 
this laboratory to handle any tech- 
nical problem referred to it. Since 
the Japanese had reportedly em- 
ployed gas in China, since they 
were apparently logistically cap- 
able of mounting a gas attack, and 
since it would be to their advan- 
tage to initiate such an attack be- 
fore the American defenses were 
organized, Copthorne also believed 
that the Japanese might initiate 
gas warfare at any time. This pos- 
sibility, he felt, called for active 
intelligence work and extensive 
technical investigation of the 
characteristics of available muni- 
tions in the theater's tropical environment. He also saw the need for 
improvising new munitions and techniques to be used before supplies 
and information became available from the United States. 19 

In order to meet the technical portion of his functions, Copthorne 
had set up a Technical Advisory Board to maintain scientific liaison 
with the British, the Australians, and within the U.S. forces, and to 
advise the laboratories. Also, several of Copthorne's subordinates had 
begun munitions testing. Two of them, Capt. Richard H. Cone and 
Lt. James W. Parker were killed in an air accident while carrying out 
experiments to determine whether incendiary bombs could be im- 
provised from training bombs, using gasoline thickened with crude 
rubber as a filling. 20 

In September 1942 the chemical section went along with USASOS 
headquarters to Sydney, but the change in location made little change 
in the section's operation. In the following month the chemical section 
began circulating a mimeographed Chemical Warfare information 
bulletin designed to apprise officers in the field of technical and intelli- 
gence developments. 21 Also, during this period Headquarters, I Corps, 
under the command of Lt. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger, arrived in 

30 ibid. 

21 History, Cml Sec USASOS. 



Australia to become the senior tactical American ground command. 
The I Corps chemical officer was Col. Harold Riegelman, a distinguished 
New York attorney who had served in World War I as a gas officer 
and had since been prominent in Reserve activities. In the words of 
his commander, he was "a loyal efficient staff officer with an analytical 
brain who pursued his work with diligence." 22 Riegelman's section 
included an officer assistant, a warrant officer, and six enlisted men. 23 
On arrival in Australia, Colonel Riegelman at once began to lay plans 
with Major Arthur of the 41st Division, and to await an opportunity 
to confer with Captain Sandell of the 3 2d Division. 

CWS Baptism — The Papua Campaign 

This opportunity never arose. Two regiments of the 3 2d Division 
had been ordered forward to New Guinea in September, and on 18 
October Sandell, T/Sgt, John K. King, and Sgt. Raymond F. Dasman, 
as the advance detail of the chemical section, reported to their com- 
manding general at Port Moresby on the southern tip of New Guinea. 24 
Sandell's was among the first chemical sections to participate in combat 
in World War II after the fall of the Philippines. The duties performed 
by the 3 2d Division Chemical Section, while they might not be cate- 
gorized as either administrative or staff work, which were theoretically 
the section's main responsibilities, demonstrate the ingenuity with 
which chemical sections in many combat elements in all parts of the 
world approached and defined their tasks. 25 

Sandell and his sergeants spent a few days in the Port Moresby area 
locating the chemical equipment which the regiments had discarded 
on landing. Most of the equipment was in a deplorable state, having 
been scattered in odd piles about Port Moresby and exposed to the 
elements. The gas masks, approximately 5,000, had been collected and 
put under cover. USASOS had established a forward base at Port 
Moresby, but the base chemical officer, inexperienced and recuperating 
from malaria, had been unable to locate either the labor or the materials 

83 Gen Robert L. Eichelberger, USA (Ret.), "A Prefatory Note," in Harold Riegelman, Caves of Biak 
(New York: Dial, 1955). 
88 Riegelman, Caves of Biak, pp. 3-4. 

34 For a complete account of the Papua Campaign, see Samuel Milner, Victory in Vapua, UNITED 
STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1957). 

a The following account of the initial activities of the 32c! Division Chemical Section is based on: 
Acting Div CmlO to CG 3 2d Inf Div, 18 Feb 43, sub: Rpt on the Activities of the 3 id Inf Div Cml 
Sec During the Papuan Campaign. 



to build storage places and to collect and store other equipment. 
Nearly all troops in the area had been fighting to repel the Japanese 
invasion until a short time before SandelPs arrival. 

Sandell managed to get a io-man detail from the 107th Quarter- 
master Battalion, then assigned to the Port Moresby base, and with 
this help he and his men gathered, inspected, and stored any materiel 
that gave promise of serviceability. Sandell and his men were also given 
the mission of searching the jungle to discover if any native garden 
or jungle foods could be found to supplement the ration. From 8 to 21 
November Sandell attended the New Guinea Force school on jungle 
tactics as a student and presented briefings on chemical warfare as an 

On 27 November Sandell was ordered forward to the Buna-Gona 
area, where an assault had been launched ten days earlier, to see if 
chemical smoke or incendiary supplies would be useful in pushing the 
attack. The assault was going badly because locating the enemy in 
his cleverly camouflaged positions was difficult and driving him from 
well-fortified bunkers with the weapons available was almost impos- 
sible. To get a line on enemy fortifications and master the assault 
problem, Sandell led a patrol to a point south of the Buna Mission. 26 
He returned to Port Moresby, joined forces with Sergeants King and 
Dasman, and together they collected HC smoke pots, Australian rifle 
smoke grenades, thermite aerial bombs, blasting powder, gelignite, 
safety fuzes, detonators, and friction tape. Back in the fighting zone 
on 4 December, they set to work improvising hand grenades from the 
rifle smoke grenades. They had some difficulty persuading infantrymen 
to use them until an infantry captain demonstrated that it was safe 
to pass through the smoke released by two grenades thrown directly 
in front of an active bunker. The grenades were then much in demand. 

On 7 December 1942 men of the 114th Engineer Combat Battalion 
brought forward the first two portable flame throwers to arrive in the 
combat area. Despite King's one attempt to put the flame throwers 
in operating condition, they failed to fire properly. Flame throwers 
were not again used in the Papua Campaign. 27 After receiving chemical 
and ordnance supplies on 1 1 December, King and Dasman refined their 
modified smoke grenade. Persisting in spite of a number of false starts, 
they also produced a dependable Molotov cocktail and developed a 

30 For this p atrol action Ca ptain Sandell was awarded a Silver Star. 
~ 7 See below, |Chapter XIV| for full account of this failure. 



hand-thrown concussion torpedo capable of killing all the occupants 
of a large bunker. After combat testing the improvised weapon, the 
127th Infantry requested all the torpedoes the CWS sergeants could 

Captain Sandell was killed in action on 26 December 1942, and 
Dasman became a victim of malaria. King carried on at the front 
until the division was relieved late in January 1943 . 28 The initiative 
and resourcefulness of Sandell and his men fitted in well with the con- 
cept of the CWS developed by Fries and Porter. 

The Principal Mission — 194) 
Preparedness for Chemical Warfare 

In February 1943 Riegelman visited New Guinea to assess the combat 
situation. He felt that Sandell and his men had done a fine job under 
extremely difficult circumstances, but he was disturbed by the lack of 
chemical weapons and the evidences of the poor use of smoke in the 
whole campaign. Like Copthorne, he was firmly convinced that the 
chemical officers should learn what effect gas would have in the tropics, 
and he agreed with Copthorne that the best place to find out was on 
the spot. While he believed defensive training was better than it had 
been in World War I, he was still concerned about the adequacy of 
both training and equipment since he believed the Japanese to be 
capable of using gas, and feared that even if they did not, some of the 
jungle odors might cause gas scares, which like an actual attack would 
result in panic if more specific training was not given, Riegelman 
reported his observations to his superiors and set to work in corps head- 
quarters to provide remedies to the problems he foresaw. 29 

Copthorne likewise continued to be much concerned with the tactical 
problems of preparedness, but he believed that his position in USASOS 
prevented him from acting adequately in the tactical and planning 
field. In February 1943 he and his section moved up to the newly 
reconstituted U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, a headquarters some- 
what comparable to the army theater headquarters in Europe and 
North Africa. He took with him to Brisbane Lt. Col. John C. Morgan, 

23 King was later commissioned and served in the Sixth Army Chemical Section. 

M (1) Riegelman, Caves of Biak, pp. 26-30. (2) Personal Ltrs, Riegelman to Waitt, 26 Jan 43, and 
Riegelman to Porter, 26 Feb 43. CWS 314.7 Pers Ltrs of Colonel Riegelman, 



recently promoted, Major Enz, and three other officer assistants. Lt. 
Col. John C. Morcock, Jr., became Chemical Officer, USASOS, serving 
with Captain Williams and two other officer assistants. 

Copthorne still felt that he should be in GHQ where the chief 
engineer and chief signal officer resided but recognized that although 
the new USAFFE was a headquarters without tactical functions, it at 
least promised to offer a better place for gas warfare preparedness 
planning than USASOS. 30 USAFFE headquarters did not offer chan- 
nels for formal co-ordination of the preparedness effort with Australian 
chemical warfare authorities. Although informal relationships with 
the Australians were good, Copthorne strongly felt that there should 
be a formal relationship, particularly since the Australians found it 
possible to communicate through their technical channels with the 
chemical warfare establishment in England, and thereby with the 
CWS and with the U.S. Chemical Warfare Committee in the United 
States. Copthorne himself had found neither a command nor a tech- 
nical channel which permitted easy communication with the technical 
and planning authorities in the United States. 31 The Australians had 
established a Chemical Warfare Service early in 1942 which like the 
British counterpart was a joint effort of their army, navy, and air 
force. Lt. Col. F. S. Gorrill of the British establishment was on duty 
in Australia, and in 1943 he undertook an investigation of gas warfare 
in the tropics. 32 

Staffing Problems 

The move to higher headquarters and the completion of the first 
theater gas warfare plan in March 33 again brought to the fore the 
problem, which had been troublesome from the beginning, of providing 
a chemical staff. Copthorne had still received no allotment of officers 
in which each officer was earmarked for the kind of job he was intended 
to fill. The only officers with appropriate rank, military education, 
and experience to fill the top positions were Col. Carl L. Marriott who 
arrived in April as Chemical Officer, Sixth Army, and Colonel Riegel- 

80 (1) History, Cml Sec USASOS. (2) Ltr, Copthorne to Hist Off, 22 May yi. 
31 Interv, Hist Off with Copthorne, 26 Apr 61. 

83 D. P. Mellor, "Australia in the War of 1939-45," The Role of Science and Industry (Canberra: 
Australian War Memorial, 1958) pp. 372-76. 

38 Ltr, CinC GHQ SWPA to TAG, 7 Apr 43, sub: Theater Plans for Cml Warfare. GHQ AG 381 
( 1 2-8-42 )C, 



man. Both men already had important posts and were unavailable to 
the theater organization. By the end of July 1943, no requisition for 
CWS personnel channeled through the USAFFE G-i had yet been 
filled. Copthorne took the view that most of the young Reserve officers 
assisting him were doing excellent, and in some cases, outstanding work, 
but in implementing and revising the theater gas warfare plan and 
the training responsibilities which were growing daily, he had no one 
with sufficient rank and experience to handle the operations (planning) 
tasks. Furthermore, a large part of offensive gas warfare planning had 
to originate with the air forces where preparation for the retaliatory 
effort would be concentrated. Neither in USASOS nor in USAFFE 
did Copthorne have any power to control the Fifth Air Force, which 
reported to GHQ through Allied Air Forces. His relationship with 
Maj. Walter C Weber, Fifth Air Force Air Staff chemical officer, was 
so cordial that he could practically consider him as an assistant, but 
Weber, then the only field-grade chemical officer in the Fifth Air 
Force, had his hands too full with supply and service functions to 
give any deep consideration to long-range planning. 34 

In the face of such problems, Copthorne increased his strength as 
best he could. It had been demonstrated by the time of the move to 
USAFFE that the existing organization for securing chemical technical 
intelligence through unit gas officers and NCO's was ineffective, Cop- 
thorne accordingly assigned Maj. John A. Riddick, who had been Enz's 
assistant, to head a new Intelligence Section in his office. He charged 
Riddick with securing six junior officers and twelve NCO's to organize 
and train six technical intelligence teams. Riddick found the officers 
and men and brought them into the USAFFE Chemical Section for 
training. At the same time the headquarters rule that all captured 
equipment must be channeled to the Australians was relaxed. The 
teams soon went out on attachment to combat units. Riddick compiled 
their findings, together with laboratory analyses and descriptions of 
captured enemy equipment, and forwarded the resulting report to 
chemical officers and unit gas officers as well as to the headquarters of 
other theaters and areas in contact with the Japanese. 35 

At the same time the CWS SWPA began to rotate chemical officers 
among assignments so that as many officers as possible could have field 

"Personal Ltrs, Copthorne to Waitc, 14 Jul 43; Copthorne to Porter, 27, 28 Jul 4$. 
35 (1) Copthorne Comments, 13 Jan 61. (2) Morgan, Comments, 9 Feb 61. 



and staff experience. Lt. Col. 
Robert W. Smith became Mor- 
cock's executive, and Maj. Irving 
R. Mollen came from Base Section 
3 to be his supply officer. The 
Melbourne base section chemical 
officer came in to be supply officer 
in the USAFFE section for a few 
months and then returned to Mel- 
bourne. Another field officer was 
assigned to a brief tour as opera- 
tions and training officer in the 
Chemical Section, USAFFE, be- 
fore becoming commandant of 
the school. Maj. Carl V. Burke 
replaced Colonel Morgan as exec- 
utive officer in the USAFFE sec- 
tion after Morgan became CWS 
Liaison Officer with the Australian Army, a position established in 
place of formal co-ordination. Colonel Willis moved from Brisbane 
to Townsville since Townsville was the base most actively in support 
of forward operations. He then served a short tour in the Advance 
Section, USASOS, in New Guinea, and returned to Townsville. 
Morcock moved out to become chemical officer of the Advance Section 
and Colonel Smith took his place in USASOS. 36 

Co-ordinating the Theater CWS 

Copthorne felt the CWS in the United States should provide gas 
warfare technical and preparedness doctrine for the tropics, or else 
that it should assist him and his colleagues in the Pacific areas in formu- 
lating such doctrine, but he was not satisfied that his appeals for help 
had received sufficient attention in the United States. 37 He found 
communication with the Central Pacific Area chemical staff too diffi- 
cult in 1943 to offer adequate opportunity for co-ordinated study of 
chemical problems, but his colleagues in the South Pacific were closer 

Colonel Marriott examining 
Japanese gas mask. 

88 (1) Information Bull, CWS Hqs USAFFE Nos. 8-1 6, 10 May-10 Sep 43. < 2 ) Morgan Interv, 
10 Oct 45. (3) Burke Interv, 28 Jan 46. 
37 Copthorne Interv, 26 Apr 61. 



and had more experience with tropical warfare so there the oppor- 
tunities for exchange of information seemed better. The Chemical 
Section, U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area (USAFISPA), 
had been organized by Col. Leonard J. Greeley in August 1942. In 
November 1942 Greeley was designated Deputy Chief of Staff, 
USAFISPA, and Lt. Col. Joel L. Burkitt became chemical officer. 
While the USAFISPA Chemical Section had been hampered by short- 
age of manpower, lack of chemical materials, and the perpetual Pacific 
problems of difficulties in communication and transportation, its staff, 
as Copthorne knew, had kept in close touch with the combat organi- 
zation chemical officers. 38 

Copthorne decided that he might be able to accomplish gas warfare 
doctrinal formulation by "committee. " He accordingly invited 
Greeley and Burkitt along with the principal chemical officers in 
SWPA to a conference at the SWPA CWS school from 1-3 July 1943. 
Col. Robert N. Gay, Chemical Officer, XIV Corps, then in SOPAC, 
joined Greeley and Burkitt. From SWPA came Marriott, Riegelman, 
Lt. Col. Lyle A. Clough, Chemical Officer, 3 2d Division, Lt. Col. 
James O. Andes, who was soon to replace Clough, and Major Arthur, 
along with principal members of the USAFFE and USASOS staffs. 
The conference first "defined" the tropics in terms of the effect of pre- 
vailing meteorological conditions and terrain on gas warfare. Next 
the conferees observed demonstrations of incendiary, flame, and smoke 
weapons and munitions. They then spent a day on tactical gas warfare 
requirements and a half a day on tactics of smoke employment. The 
meeting concluded with a half-day session on ammunition supply 
requirements. The principal value of the conference appears to have 
been that the chemical officers were able to agree on what they did 
and did not know. What they did know or were able to conclude 
concerning the performance of available munitions in the tropics was 
stated as area tactical doctrine for the employment of chemical agents 
and weapons. A list of items related to munitions performance char- 
acteristics about which they were in doubt was drawn up for investi- 
gation in the theater or referral to OCCWS. 39 

As Riegelman expressed his views on the conference, "Everybody 

M (1) CMLHO Biographical Sketches. (2) rsc Ind, CG USAFISPA to TAG, 1 Apr 45, on Ltr, 
TAG to CG USAFISPA, 19 Dec 4^ sub: Theater Plans for Cmi Warfare. AG 381 (ia-8-42) OB-S- 
E-M. (3) Interv, Hist Off with Col Nelson McKaig, USA (Ret.), 27 Apr 61, 

M Rpi of Conf of Cml Warfare Officers, 1, 2, 3 Jul 43, Cml Sec USAFFE, n.d. 



profited enormously. Everybody contributed values from his own 
experience." 40 But in retrospect, the conference was more significant 
than its immediate value in providing a forum for the exchange of 
experience and as a means of formulating temporary doctrine would 
indicate. Its significance lay in the fact that it presented practically 
the only means of integrating the CWS in SWPA. It accomplished 
for Copthorne a measure of the co-ordination of effort which Rowan 
achieved in the ETO through supply control and continuous personal 
liaison* It was less successful as a means of control than Rowan's 
because a conference is a transitory affair, and in the SWPA the means 
of sustaining its co-ordinating benefits were few. The organization 
of the SWPA forces, the tremendous physical distances over which 
the forces in the theater had to move troops and materiel, and the 
continuing difficulty of communication within the theater and with 
the United States all militated against maintaining a continuously co- 
ordinated effort. Copthorne could only hope to provide a link between 
research and the firing line by enlarging and continuously revitalizing 
his two greatest sources of strength, control of technical intelligence 
and authority to advise on, and sometimes even to make, CWS per- 
sonnel assignments. He also still sought to build up the function of 
formulating supply policy and the capability of planning within his 
own staff. 

A temporary hitch in the operation of Copthorne 's plans came in 
September 1943 when he and the other service chiefs were transferred 
back to USASOS. Except for about two weeks' confusion attendant 
upon the move, the transfer had little impact on Copthorne's functions 
because the promise of improved prestige and capability and of better 
lines of communication in USAFFE had not been fulfilled. An officer 
remained in the G-4 office in USAFFE as CWS representative. The 
reorganized USASOS office included Enz, Burke, and Riddick in their 
respective technical, training, and intelligence positions. Smith became 
supply officer and Mollen remained as his assistant. A lieutenant colonel 
recently arrived from the United States became operations and training 
officer. Two other officers and two warrant officers completed the 
section. Intelligence trainees were transferred to the 42d Laboratory 
for further training. 41 

40 Personal Ltr, Riegelman to Waitt, 9 Jul 43. 

41 Info Bull, CWS USASOS, No. 18, 2$ Oct 43. 



Preparedness — The Theater CWS Situation at the End of 194) 

After the period of adjustment, prospects for the chemical section 
became brighter. Lt. CoL John P. Youngman, a supply officer with 
considerable background and experience whom Copthorne had long 
wanted in the theater, arrived from the United States to take over 
the supply position. Colonel Smith became Copthorne's deputy. Maj. 
Jack F. Lane, a young officer with a training background, arrived to 
take a training center assignment. Lt. Col. Augustin M. Prentiss, Jr., 
a vigorous, young (28 years old) Military Academy graduate with in- 
fantry, CWS, and air experience, also arrived from the United States 
to become Chemical Officer, Fifth Air Force. Major Weber became 
Chemical Officer, V Air Force Service Command, thus giving Prentiss 
an opportunity to devote his time to planning and policy/ 2 

Lt. Col. Donald G. Grothaus and Maj. Richard T. Brady of the 
Field Operations staff, OCCWS, agreed with Copthorne's estimate of 
his problems and accomplishments during their visit to the theater 
late in 1943 and early in 1944. Grothaus agreed with Copthorne that 
the Pacific was the most likely area for the initiation of gas warfare, 
and he pointed out, as Copthorne had, that the CWS deficiency of 
knowledge as to the employment of gas in the tropics was a serious 
drawback in planning and could well be a vital defect should actual 
gas operations commence. 43 He also noted that Prentiss was hampered 
in planning for gas warfare retaliation by a lack of information on 
the effectiveness of toxic munitions in a tropical environment. 

Grothaus praised Copthorne's policy of setting the service units, 
such as the chemical laboratory, to work on any technical problem 
within their range of competence whether the solution would have 
chemical significance or not. He believed that these services performed 
for a number of theater elements had added significantly to the respect 
for and acceptance of the CWS in the theater. Other factors increasing 
respect resulted from four successful Fifth Air Force smoke operations 

" (1) Info Bull, CWS USASOS, No. 19, 25 Nov 43. (1) Persona! Ltr, Copthorne to Porter, 24 
Nov 43, 

43 The following remarks on Grothaus' and Brady's estimate of the situation arc drawn from: Grothaus 
and Brady, OCCWS to CCWS through ACCWS Field Opns, 29 Mar 44, Rpt on Visit to SWPA, SOPAC, 
and CENPAC (hereafter cited as Grothaus-Brady Rpt). CWS 314.7 Observer Rpts. While Grothaus 
and Brady worked part of the time as a team, Brady was charged only with the investigation of technical 
intelligence and wrote only that portion of the report. 



in New Guinea/ 4 and from excellent liaison with the Australian forces. 
One CWS officer, Capt. Howard E. Skipper, had been sent to work 
in the Australian Chemical Warfare experimental station, and Grothaus 
believed that the CWS should provide more help, both in manpower 
and materials, to further the Australian experiments on gas in the 
tropics. Another source of increased respect was the record of the 
4. 2 -inch chemical mortar battalion in the South Pacific Area. In the 
United States this mortar battalion had been assigned to SWPA, but 
since the SWPA chemical staff was not informed that the unit was 
authorized to fire high-explosive shells nor that such shells were 
available, the battalion had been given so low a movement priority as 
a gas warfare unit that it was diverted to SOP AC. 45 Reports filtering 
into SWPA on the effectiveness of the chemical mortar using high- 
explosive shells made several ground commanders eager to obtain bat- 
talions for their own employment. On the debit side, Grothaus, again 
as Copthorne had, deplored the poor condition of CWS materiel 
arriving in the theater and indicated that OCCWS action to improve 
the situation was imperative. Also, despite some recent improvements 
in the manpower situation, SWPA still had a greater shortage of 
experienced officers than any other major theater. While strict theater 
personnel ceilings prevented large additions to the theater CWS com- 
plement, Grothaus was of the opinion that in future shipments 
OCCWS could do much to make up in quality what was lacking 
in quantity. 

Major Brady, whose specific mission was to investigate intelligence, 
was so impressed with Major Riddick's accomplishments that he for- 
warded to OCCWS Riddick's schedule for training technical intelli- 
gence teams. Brady recommended that these teams be trained in the 
United States. He visited some of the teams which had begun to 
operate in forward areas with command sanction early in November 
and approved their activities. 46 The intelligence teams were a valuable 
aid to the CWS SWPA for the remainder of the war. Copthorne later 

" (1) Prentiss personally supervised these tour operations and flew in the lead plane on the first one. 
Prentiss Interv, 25 Oct 61. (2) For details on one of these operations at Lae, see below, IChapter ~X\ 
4j Copthorne Comments, 13 Jan 61. 

4(1 Personal Ltr, Riddick to Morgan, 14 Nov 4$, inclosing: (1) Ltr, AG USAFFE to CG USASOS, 
9 Nov 43, sub: Responsibility for Technical Intelligence, FEGC 323.361; (2) Memo for Red, Riddick, 
11 Nov 43, sub: Conf with Col E. R. Thorpe, ACofS G-2 USAFFE. 



commented that the organization for intelligence was so effective that 
it should stand as an example for all similar theater activities. 47 

CWS, Southwest Pacific Area, 1944-45 

The year 1944 was somewhat paradoxical for the Office of the Chief 
Chemical Officer, USASOS* On the one hand, the supply situation 
was good; the condition of equipment had improved; planning capa- 
bilities improved throughout the year; training was progressing 
smoothly; technical intelligence was working well; and technical in- 
vestigations continued to produce worthwhile information. On the 
other hand, until late in the year, the advance of forces toward the 
Philippines put increasingly greater distances between Copthorne's 
immediate staff and the CWS in the field, thereby making communica- 
tion increasingly more difficult. Even the advanced echelons of 
USASOS communicated more readily with the combat forces than 
with their own main echelon. Thus, while the USASOS Chemical 
Section was successfully accomplishing its aims and missions, the chief 
chemical officer, because of the organization of the theater and its 
physical setup, had a less important role in the operation of the theater 
CWS as a whole. {(Chart 7) 

A Solution for Technical Planning Problems 

Copthorne made a trip to Washington in the spring of 1944 for 
consultations in OCCWS, where he gave special attention to his man- 
power and planning problems. Lt. Col. William A. Johnson, an officer 
whom Copthorne had several times requested, arrived in the theater 
during Copthorne's absence to take over the operations and training 
functions. In June the theater gas warfare plan was revised, and the 
revision indicated a considerable improvement in the theater situation 
both with respect to supply and plans. Technical and munitions per- 
formance information was still deficient, but a team of two officers 
sent out to SWPA by OCCWS had made a preliminary survey of 
requirements for information on gas warfare in the tropics just before 
Copthorne's departure, and OCCWS was soon to set up a project for 
assessment of gas in tropical situations in the western hemisphere. 48 

"Copthorne to Hist Off, 22 May jr. 

48 (1 ) Info Bulls, CWS USASOS, Nos. 24 and 25. 25 Apr and 25 May 44. (2) History of the Cml 
Sec USASOS, Mar 44-Jul 45. USASOS Mil History Rpts. 






By the end of 1944 the SWPA gas warfare planning enterprise at 
last reached the echelon where it had been in theory but not in fact 
for three years. 49 Copthorne personally went on temporary duty with 
G-3, GHQ, to make another revision of the gas warfare plan. This 
superior headquarters could co-ordinate the activities of the ground, 
naval, air, and service commands affecting plans for gas warfare. The 
remaining technical problems were also approaching solution. In 
November 1944 the theater and the Allies concurred in a proposal 
forwarded to the theater by General Waitt for the establishment of a 
Far Eastern Technical Unit (FETU) to investigate the performance 
of toxics and toxic munitions in the theater. Enz had originally sug- 
gested such an establishment to OCCWS. FETU, under the command 
of Lt. Col. John D. Reagh, completed its tests and analyses during 
1 94 j and in the process furnished needed planning data to the theater. 
The unit employed officers and civilian scientists from the United States 
and drew upon the theater CWS for assistance, service, and supply. 50 

Theater Training — Final Phase 

The Chemical Warfare Service training center continued to be a 
SWPA focus for chemical training during 1944 although corps and 
division courses had become common in the latter half of 1943. Early 
in 1944 the distance of most combat units from Australia made it 
impractical to send large groups back to Brisbane. A new Chemical 
Warfare Service training center was therefore established at Oro Bay 
in New Guinea. At first the school remained at Brisbane, but gave 
some assistance in conducting courses at Oro Bay. About the middle 
of 1944, a little less than two years after its establishment at Brisbane, 
the school moved to Oro Bay where it remained until early in 1945. 
The Chemical Warfare Service Training Center and the school were 
subsequently re-established in the Manila area, but the war ended 
before the school was in full operation. 51 

In the Oro Bay location, the training center and school came under 
the jurisdiction of the Chemical Officer, Intermediate Section, USA- 
SOS. Intermediate Section (later New Guinea Base Section) was a 
forward area service and supply command with jurisdiction over all 

49 SWPA gas warfare plans from the first officially emanated from GHQ. 

50 (1) History, Cml Sec USASOS, 44~45- (*) FETU's Rpts and Corresp. CWS 3M-7 FETU. 
61 (1) History, Cml Sec USASOS, 44-4*. (2) Burke Interv, 28 Jan 46. 



but the most forward bases. Copthorne had secured the transfer of 
Colonel Gay from SOPAC to SWPA in December 1943 to be Chemical 
Officer, Intermediate Section. In January 1944 Colonel Gay became 
chemical officer of an advanced headquarters of USASOS and Burke, 
recently promoted to lieutenant colonel, became Intermediate Section 
chemical officer. In this position, Burke was in charge of direct support 
to the combat forces as supplied by the New Guinea bases. This was 
a difficult position since the occupant in effect served two masters. 
General instructions and command came from USASOS, but decisions 
on allocation of resources and requests for supply, services, and training 
came primarily from Sixth Army. 52 

The CWS in the Combat Forces, 1944-45 

The SWPA combat forces had from the beginning enjoyed a greater 
degree of independence than most similar forces elsewhere in the world 
because the nature of the area, as noted earlier, made closely co-ordi- 
nated operation extremely difficult. The independence, at least with 
respect to chemical matters, increased throughout 1944. Sixth Army 
was the principal U.S. Army ground combat organization in the 
theater in 1944, although Eighth Army was to be organized late in 
1944 and to become operational in 194 5. 53 Colonel Marriott presided 
over the Sixth Army chemical establishment. Maj. Leonard L. Mc- 
Kinney was assistant, deputy, and frequently operations officer, for 
Colonel Marriott. 54 The Sixth Army Chemical Section included a 
supply officer with one or sometimes two assistants, and usually an 
operations officer. Colonel Marriott was invalided home in mid- 1944 
and was replaced by Col. John R. Burns. 65 

The Sixth Army Chemical Section had a major hand in determining 
tactical policy, and it not only allocated incoming resources among 
the supporting bases, but also allocated resources among subordinate 
combat organizations. The allocation duties meant distributing to 
Sixth Army organizations such combat units as the chemical mortar 

E (1) Ltr, CmlO Intermediate Sec USASOS to CmlO's Bases A, B, D, E, F, i Apr 44, sub: Ltr of 
Instr. ISCW 300 in Unit Files, 93d Cml Composite Co. (2) Burke Interv, z% Jan 46. (3) Willis-Gay 
Interv, 11 Jun 50. 

58 See Robert Ross Smith, The Approach to the Philippines, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD 
WAR II (Washington* 19J3), pp. 278, 4 yon. 

54 (1) Col Harold Riegelman, MS, Admin of CW Functions in Theaters of Opns— SWPA. (2) 
CMLHO Biographical Sketches. 

56 CMLHO Biographical Sketches. 



battalions, which belatedly became available to the theater with the 
activation of one battalion and the arrival of another in mid- 1944, 
and of such service units as were available. But service units were not 
readily available. When, late in 1943, Marriott asked Copthorne how 
he might obtain one of Copthorne 's service units, Copthorne wrote, 
"you might just as well have nonchalantly asked me how you could 
get my right arm or even my bed at Lennon's." 56 Copthorne was 
understandably reluctant to give up any service unit since USASOS 
units were already thinly spread in detachments in an attempt to meet 
supply and service requirements. But even had he been willing and 
able to release a unit, the organizational cleavage between service and 
combat forces was so deep that USASOS did not feel that it was 
responsible for supplying units to the combat forces. It was USASOS 
policy to retain its badly needed units. 57 Eventually, USASOS policy 
was changed to permit the release of one unit in January. 58 Sixth Army 
parceled out this unit, and later others, in detachments to divisions to 
service flame throwers, recondition shell, and handle supply. These 
detachments were subsequently converted into cellular units, that is, 
units composed of smaller self-supporting elements, to perform the 
same functions. 

Colonel Burns and Col. Ralph C. Benner, Chemical Officer, Eighth 
Army, continued to work on the problems of chemical tactical policy 
and of allocation of men, units, and materials for the remainder of the 
war in the Pacific. They had the job of receiving and evaluating plans 
and requirements which originated in echelons subordinate to the army 
headquarters. They, in turn, translated these plans and requirements 
into the concepts of the whole organization, co-ordinated them through 
staff in their own headquarters, and dispatched them through command 
channels to GHQ. Using both technical and command channels, the 
Army chemical officers received reports of chemical activities and 
problems and maintained continuous inspections to insure the greatest 
possible effectiveness at field levels. 59 

Below army level, 1944 and 1945 saw the culmination of a great 
change which had taken place since the tragic and heroic improvisa- 

68 Personal Ltr, Copthorne to Marriott, 19 Nov 43. Sixth Army Cm! Sec Memos. (Lennon's was 
the best hotel in Brisbane and a highly prized officer's billet.) 

67 Ibid. 

68 History, Cml Sec USASOS, 44-4 y. 

88 (1) Riegelman, Admin of Cml Warfare Functions in Theaters of Operations — SVPA. (2) Interv, 
Hist Off with Lt Col Leonard L. McKinney, 12 Jan 46, 



tions of the 3 2d Division Chemical Section in the Papua Campaign. 
USASOS and Sixth Army managed during 1943 and early in 1944 to 
obtain a sufficient supply of essentials such as smoke pots, hand gre- 
nades, 4.2-inch chemical mortar shells, and individual protective equip- 
ment. Colonel Riegelman in I Corps and his subordinates in the 
divisions plunged into training and tactical work, and by the time 
of the Hollandia operation early in 1944, they had defensive training 
of the individual soldier well in hand. 60 I Corps had also officially 
adopted a policy of using smoke shell to provide a target area marking 
system. Riegelman secured approval for the concept of attaching a 
mortar company to each assaulting division under the operational 
control of the division chemical officer. The misuse of smoke conceal- 
ment which Riegelman had found in his first tour in New Guinea had 
been corrected by troop training and by orienting commanders. 61 

Flame thrower techniques had also been perfected, and the weapon 
itself had been improved through the extraordinary efforts of both 
USASOS and field chemical officers and men. The weapon still had its 
faults and maintenance and repair problems were to plague SWPA 
forces for the duration of the war. With respect to tactical employ- 
ment of the flame thrower, Sixth Army declared that the weapon 
logically belonged with the infantry rather than with the engineers, 
who had brought it into the Pacific. Both Sixth Army and I Corps 
developed an infantry team for the tactical employment of the flame 
thrower, and Sixth Army officially set up a team training program 
which was materially aided by a roving demonstration team organized 
by Colonel Gay in the USASOS advanced echelon. 62 

Other corps chemical officers, Col, Francis H. Phipps, X Corps, Lt. 
Col. John L. Bartlett, XI Corps, and Lt. Col. Richard R. Danek, XIV 
Corps, 63 like Riegelman who was replaced by Col. Frank M. Arthur 
in 1 94 j, for the most part performed tactical and training functions. 
They concerned themselves with supply only with respect to critical 

w For information on the campaigns in this period, see Smith, The Approach to the Philippines. 

n <0 Riegelman, Caves of Biak, pp. 64-65, 70-74, 87-96. (2) Interv, Hist Off with Col Harold 
Riegelman, USAR (Ret.), 10 Oct 56. 

M (i) Riegelman, Admin of Cml Warfare Functions in Theaters of Opns — SWPA. (2) Willis-Gay 
Interv, 12 Jun 50. (3) Burke Interv. 28 Jan 46. 

M XIV Corps transferred from SOP AC to SWPA. Col. Hugh M. Milton II, corps chemical officer in 
SOP AC, became corps ACofS, G-4, and subsequently corps chief of staff. Col R. N. Gay, XIV Corps 
chemical officer, was succeeded by Lt. Col. William H. Shimonek who returned to the United States in 
1944 and who was replaced by Danek. 



items, such as the gas mask and 4.2-inch mortar shell, or in emergency 
situations. Depending on the training and talents of each officer, corps 
chemical officers also performed a variety of staff and operating tasks 
not directly related to chemical warfare or completely unrelated, 
depending upon their capabilities. Riegelman, who had been an 
infantry officer as well as a gas officer in World War I, did a study 
on the reduction of Japanese cave defenses on the island of Biak, an 
operation which had combined infantry and chemical techniques. 64 

Division chemical officers had their hands full. 65 As their top priority 
function, they were directly responsible for gas warfare training of 
every man in the division. They accomplished what training they 
could through their own sections and also made use of traveling train- 
ing teams. By these means and by sending quotas (ideally, one officer 
per company and one noncommissioned officer per platoon) of unit 
gas officers and gas noncommissioned officers to theater and other 
schools, they could train UGO's and UGNCO's and in turn help them 
establish unit schools and training periods. The training activity was 
a constant one since malaria, battle casualties, and ordinary shifts in 
personnel frequently necessitated the establishment of an entire new 
roster of UGO's and UGNCO's who would likewise be required to 
give instruction down to the last private in the last squad. Corps 
chemical officers and command inspectors checked on divisional chem- 
ical training periodically. 

The division chemical officer's duty of next priority was supply. 
He cleared requirements statements for gas masks and other protective 
supplies, smoke pots, grenades, mortar shell, and various items of chem- 
ical equipment with the division G-4, and, if necessary, with the 
Ordnance and Quartermaster officers. When supplies were received 

"(O Riegelman, Admin of Cml Warfare Functions in Theaters of Opns — SWPA. (1) Riegelman, 
Capes of Biak, pp. 140-5*. (3) USAFFE Board, n.d., Rpt 116 (Japanese Cave Defenses). 

88 This account of the duties of the division chemical officer is based on: (1) Riegelman, Admin of 
Cml Warfare Functions in Theaters of Opns — SWPA; (2) Memo, Arthur for Hist Off, 21 Nov 45, 
sub: Review of Col Riegelman's Paper, Admin of Cml Warfare Functions in Theaters of Opns — SWPA 
(Colonel Arthur was Chemical Officer, 41st Infantry Division and I Corps); (3) Memo, Lt Col 
Maurice A. Peer en boom for Hist Off, n.d. (Colonel Peerenboom served as Chemical Officer, 3 id Infantry 
Division in 1943); (4) Personal Ltr, Maj David D. Hulsey to Waitt, 3 Jun 45, in CWS 314*7 Pers Ltr 
File (Misc) WESPAC, AFPAC, SPBC (Maj Hulsey was Chemical Officer, 6th Infantry Division); 

(5) Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col James P. Sutton, 18 Dec 45 (Colonel Sutton was assistant chemical 
officer and assistant to the Chief of Staff, I Corps, and subsequently the 3 id Division chemical officer); 

(6) Memo, Capt John M. McDonald, OpnsO, for Col Burns, CmlO Sixth Army [1 May 45], in 
Sixth Army 333 Inspections; (7) Riegelman, Caves of Biak, passim; (8) Riegelman Interv, 10 
Oct 56. 



or in transit, the chemical schedule in loading, storage, issue, and service 
plans had to be cleared again with general and special staff officers, and 
the actual operation of supply followed down to the regimental and 
special staff levels. Division chemical officers in the Pacific found that 
co-operative plans, sometimes employed in other theaters, for combin- 
ing chemical issue and service operations with those of ordnance or 
engineer sections seldom worked since these services normally used 
their own resources to the limit. Since, in such combined arrangements, 
the chemical sections relied heavily on the facilities and services which 
Ordnance and Engineers provided in the Pacific, the division chemical 
officer acquired the additional duty of securing and supervising his 
own service detachments which occasionally worked as ,far forward 
as regimental supply to issue chemical materials, service flame throwers, 
and handle mortar shell. The assistant division chemical officer often 
devoted full time to supply and service which included field improvisa- 
tion or adaptation of materiel. 

Planning, staff, and advisory functions also occupied the chemical 
officer — at least part of the time. Some of this work was chemical; 
some was not. The division chemical officer might find himself assigned 
to liaison, reconnaissance, or observer duties, or he might move out of 
the staff field into the supervision of combat loading or beach discharge 
of cargo. Lt. Col. Nelson McKaig, 25 th Division chemical officer, an 
agricultural chemist in civilian life, inspected and supervised divisional 
food preparation and spent a considerable period setting up a divisional 
rest camp on Luzon. There were always the additional details that 
every staff member drew, such as sitting on courts-martial, assisting 
in command inspections, acting as fire hazards inspector, savings bond 
officer, and the like. There was an initial impression that the chemical 
officer had little to do in the absence of gas warfare, so that the division 
chemical officers may have been assigned a proportionately larger 
number of staff, command, and operating details than their colleagues. 
Some division chemical officers, like their colleagues in Europe, wel- 
comed such details because of the opportunity, lacking in the course 
of ordinary chemical activities, to keep in touch with members of the 
staff and subordinate units. Some believed, as did Colonel Copthorne, 
that any service rendered by the CWS increased the prestige and ac- 
ceptability of the service. 



A Second Theater CWS 


To return to the theater level, 
the respect for the service was in- 
creasing, and after the middle of 
1944, Copthorne again laid plans 
for co-ordinating the chemical 
warfare effort for the Pacific 
through the best means available 
to him — a service conference such 
as the one which had been so suc- 
cessful in 1943. The second the- 
ater CWS conference, held from 
10-13 October at Oro Bay under 
the official direction of Maj. Gen. 

Colonel Copthorne (left) With J. L. Frink, Commanding General, 

was still the tactical employment of chemical warfare, including aerial 
and land smokes and incendiaries, the chemical mortar, and the flame 
thrower. 66 

General Waitt and Lt. Col. Jacob K. Javits attended as representa- 
tives of OCCWS. Col. George F. Unmacht, Chief Chemical Officer, 
U.S. Army Forces, Pacific Ocean Areas, and Colonel Greeley repre- 
sented POA, while Colonel Kellogg and others represented the China- 
Burma-India theater. The Australian Army, the American corps, 
divisions, and chemical mortar battalions also sent chemical officer 
delegates as did USAFFE and USASOS. The Navy sent some of its 
officers having chemical duties. Colonel Prentiss, now Chemical Officer, 
Far East Air Forces (a headquarters supervising the Fifth and Thir- 
teenth Air Forces) attended with other representatives of the air 
forces. Also present were Dr. W. A. Noyes and several other civilian 
scientists of the National Defense Research Committee. 

The conference made a series of recommendations that were con- 
siderably more authoritative than those of the earlier conference. The 

"This paragraph and the following account are based on: Rpt, CWS Conf, USASOS SWPA. CWS 

General Waitt at Colonel Cop- 
thorm's Oro Bay quarters in October 

USASOS, was considerably more 
extensive in scope than the pre- 
vious conference, but the theme 



conferees sought a simple table of toxic ammunition requirements 
based on operational trials under tropical conditions. This, as already 
indicated, they were soon to get. 67 They asked for new aerial toxic 
munitions, impregnated clothing with increased durability, new gas 
grenades, and tactical training material reflecting the behavior of 
chemical agents in the tropics. Other requests were for more man- 
power for mortar battalions, improved mortars, more spare parts, 
more and improved field equipment and munitions. But the signifi- 
cance of this conference, as of the previous one, was not so much in 
what was recommended and requested as it was in the indication of 
joint effort and the revelation of considerable technical knowledge, 
much of which had been accumulated through considerable effort and 
three years of theater experience. General Waitt was particularly 
impressed by the fact that the conference permitted an exchange of 
views and experiences among chemical officers of all the Pacific areas, 
and he noted that the presence of individuals from the United States 
tended to lessen the view held by some theater officers that they had 
been neglected by OCCWS. 68 

The Office of the Chief Chemical Officer — Final Phase 

In September 1944 Colonel Copthorne and a part of his section 
moved to Hollandia and in October the remainder of the section 
followed from Australia. This office in Hollandia served as the base 
for setting up the Philippine operation. Copthorne visited Leyte during 
the campaign in December, and early in February moved his office to 
that island. These moves placed the USASOS Chemical Section nearer 
the nerve center of the theater and considerably eased communication 
with the forward elements. But even better things were to come. At 
the end of March the office of the chief chemical officer moved with 
the advanced echelon of USASOS to Luzon. Here command, service, 
and supply activities were being centered, and, while the chief chemical 
officer still had no official control or function outside of USASOS, his 
technical ties and his supervision of theater gas warfare planning at 
last gave him a very effective tool for controlling the theater CWS. 69 

CT See above, |pp. 208-10. | 

M Waitt, 25 Nov 44, Preliminary Rpt on Situation in POA and SWPA Based on Visit to SWPA and 
POA, 24 Sep-21 Nov 44. 

w History, Cml Sec USASOS, 44-45, 



General Mac Arthur was named, after the return to the Philippines, 
to command the U.S. Army Forces, Pacific (AFPAC), with jurisdic- 
tion over all Pacific theaters. In July 1945 Copthorne achieved what 
since April 1942 he had considered to be his rightful place — he was 
named Chief Chemical Officer, AFPAC. He finally had technical 
control of the CWS not only in the service command but also in the 
air forces and the ground forces. 70 Of the theater chemical officers 
in World War II only General Shadle as Chief Chemical Officer, AFHQ, 
enjoyed a comparable official position. 

The war in the Pacific ended in September. Most of the officers who 
had served Copthorne during the long period of the war had already 
returned to the United States, but he remained as Chief Chemical 
Officer, AFPAC, until October 1945 when he was succeeded in turn 
by Col. Sterling E. Whitesides, Jr., and by General Loucks, both of 
whom served brief tours. Brig. Gen. Egbert F. Bullene served from 
July 1 94 j to March 1946 as Chemical Officer, Army Forces, Western 
Pacific — the administrative, supply, and service command which was 
organized to succeed USASOS in supporting the invasion of Japan but 
which was diverted instead to closing out the activities of SWPA or 
rebuilding them to suit occupation needs. Until his departure Cop- 
thorne worked, in a new context, on the same kind of problems which 
had occupied his attention since February 1942; he requested and 
assigned personnel, made plans, traced supplies, sought information, 
established intelligence procedures, and tried to put the CWS com- 
ponent of the occupation forces on a firm technical footing. 71 

Organizing the Chemical Warfare Service, Hawaiian Department 
The Emergency 

Lt. Col. George F. Unmacht, Chemical Officer, Hawaiian Depart- 
ment, was having breakfast on the morning of 7 December 1941 when 

70 (1) GHQ AFPAC GO 73» 26 Jul 45. (1) GHQ AFPAC Staff Memo iy, 14 Jul 4 f- (3) Ltr, 
CCmlO AFPAC to CmlO's, Sixth, Eighth, and Tenth Armies, FEAF, AFWESPAC, 2 Aug 45, sub: 
Corresp with the CCWS- AFPAC CW 312.3 in CWS 314.7 Misc Files, WESPAC, AFPAC, SPBC. 

T1 (1) Personal Ltrs, Waitt to Copthorne, 4, 17* 29 Aug, 2$ Sep, 4, y Oct 45. (2) Personal Ltrs, 
Copthorne to Waitt, 17, 19, 29 Aug 45. (3) Ltr, CCWS to CCmlO AFPAC, 23 Aug 45, sub: 
Request for Publications. (4) Ltr> CCmlO AFPAC to CCWS, 12 Aug 45, sub: Japanese Sniff Set. 
AFPAC CW 386.3. (5) Ltr, CCWS to CCmlO AFPAC, 25 Sep 45, sub: Post-Hostilities Cml Warfare 
Mission. (6) Ltr, CCmlO AFPAC to CCWS, 31 Oct 4f, sub: Misc Info. AFPAC CW 350 (31 Oct 
45). (3), (4), (5), and (6) in CWS 314.7 Misc Files WESPAC, AFPAC, SPBC. 



he saw Japanese planes dropping bombs. 72 Within half an hour, 
Unmacht reported to the department headquarters from his office at 
Fort Shafter and directed Maj. James M. McMillin, Commanding 
Officer, Hawaiian Chemical Warfare Depot, Schofield Barracks, to 
begin issuing service gas masks to departmental troops then equipped 
with training masks. Lt. James E. Reilly and the men of the yth 
Chemical Service Company (Aviation) on duty at Hickam Field also 
saw the attack and sprang into action. They shot down one of the 
attacking planes. 73 

Hawaiian Department authorities at the time feared that other air 
attacks would be made and that these attacks would include the use of 
gas. Unmacht's first responsibility, therefore, was to prepare against 
aerial gas attack. Leaving M/Sgt. Ralph I. Libby in charge of the 
Fort Shafter office, Unmacht reported to the departmental advance 
command post at Aliamanu crater. By noon he had telephoned all 
CWS staff officers and units on Oahu and had made sure that all were 
preparing for gas attack. The CWS officer ranking next to Unmacht, 
Lt. Col. Maurice E. Jennings, Chemical Officer, Hawaiian Air Force, 
also reported to the advance command post, with an enlisted assistant. 
Lieutenant Reilly and Lt. Melvin F. Fincke remained at Hickam Field 
while Lt. Willard H. Blohm took up duty at Wheeler Field. The CWS 
officers with the air force had the assistance of the chemical aviation 
company. Major McMillin and ist Lt. William J. Tanner continued 
to operate the depot at Schofield Barracks where Capt. Howard S. 
Leach, Commanding Officer, Company A, ist Separate Chemical Bat- 
talion, was, in addition to his other duties, post chemical officer. The 
men of Company A, whose second in command was ist Lt. Rubert D. 
Chapman, were assigned to guard the depot, haul munitions, and fur- 
nish details for the post. 

Maj. John H. Becque, Chemical Officer, 25th Infantry Division, 
was on duty at the Aliamanu crater post with the division staff. 
Unmacht secured the appointment of ist Lt. Woodson C. Tucker as 
Acting Chemical Officer, 24th Infantry Division, which lacked a 

"Unless otherwise noted, this and the following sections are based on History of the Chemical Warfare 
Service in the Middle Pacific, a 5 -volume collection of journals, historical reports, and documents com- 
piled and edited under the direction of Capt. Jerome K. Holmes, Chief, Intelligence and Technical Di- 
vision, Chemical Office, Headquarters U.S. Army Forces, Middle Pacific, 1946, OCMH. 

78 Chronological history of the chemical office, Hawaiian Department to Middle Pacific, History of 
Cml Sec, USAFMIDPAC, vol. I, sec. II. Lieutenant Reilly was awarded the Legion of Merit for his 
performance on 7 December 194 1. 



chemical section, on the afternoon of 7 December. Unmacht was him- 
self joined that afternoon by 1st Sgt. Roland P. Fournier and one 
other enlisted man. These n officers and approximately 375 enlisted 
men made up the CWS, Hawaiian Department, until 11 December 
when z Reserve officers reported for duty. 

During those first few days the CWS established several supply 
points in addition to the depot and, with the help of a Civilian Con- 
servation Corps company, completed the issue of service masks. 
McMillin also put into operation a reconditioned impregnating plant, 
a chloride of lime production plant, and a toxic land mine and shell- 
filling plant, all of which had been refurbished in the month before 
the attack. 74 One Reserve officer at once began converting a plant of 
the Pacific Guano and Fertilizer Company, of which he had been an 
employee, to the production of bleach. 

Civil Defense 

Since the CWS had the only available supply of sirens and horns, 
intended to be used as gas alarms, these were distributed as warnings 
for air attack pending the acquisition of an air alert system from con- 
tinental United States. The CWS reconditioned training masks turned 
in by troops and reissued them to the home guard, civil defense officials, 
police, firemen, public utilities employees, and other civilians in key 
positions. At the cabled request of the Hawaiian Department, the 
Chief CWS gathered 478,000 new and used training masks in the 
United States and shipped them to Hawaii. When these masks began 
to arrive early in 1942, Unmacht's men set civilian crews to work 
reconditioning the masks and modifying them with sponge rubber 
padding to fit oriental faces and the faces of children. Civilian masks 
were issued through first aid stations. 

Unmacht and nearly all of his officers, including several newcomers 
in the theater, together with 2d Lt, Edouard R. L. Doty, who gave up 
the post of territorial civil defense director to be commissioned, became 
involved in extensive civil defense training. Unmacht, promoted to 
colonel on 12 December 1941 and made territorial co-ordinator for 
gas defense in January, gave almost 300 public talks and radio broad- 
casts. A total of 68,000 civilians attended schools for specialized 
chemical warfare defense. After the middle of 1942 civil defense ac- 

74 Personal Ltr, Unmaclit to Porter, 10 Nov 41. CWS 210.3/234. 



tivities began to decrease, but civil defense training continued until 
mid-1943. 75 

Organization — Departmental Chemical Office 

Meanwhile, in February 1942, Unmacht reorganized his immediate 
office, which in December had consisted only of Libby's Administrative 
Section, to include an Administrative Section under a civilian employee, 
Miss M. Allegra Clifton, a Training and Civil Defense liaison Section 
under Lieutenant Doty and a Supply Section under Lieutenant Libby, 
recently commissioned. In July a further reorganization introduced 
an executive officer, Capt. James H. Batte, changed Doty's section to 
Plans and Training, and put 2d Lt. Roland P. Fournier, who had been 
commissioned with 2d Lt. Ralph I. Libby, in charge of supply. This 
reorganization in part reflected the addition of responsibilities and 
individuals to handle them, but it also helped prepare for the strategic 
and organizational decisions then being made in the Pacific theater. 
The Hawaiian Department organization, after the organization of the 
Pacific areas, continued to be the senior Army command for the Central 
Pacific Area. There was at the time no chemical representative on 
Admiral Nimitz' joint and Allied POA staff nor on his Pacific fleet 
staff. The supreme command and the fleet command were based in 
the Hawaiian Islands. 

Early Training 

The July 1942 organization remained in effect during the second 
half of 1942. In this period emphasis shifted from immediate defensive 
preparations to preparation for combat in the Central Pacific Area. 
The area mission up to that time had been indirect support of operations 
in SOPAC and SWPA, and Hawaii had operated as a staging point 
for units bound south of the equator. This responsibility had entailed 
checking supply and training and providing either or both when 
required for troops outward bound. After the middle of 1942 it 
became increasingly evident that Hawaii would serve as a base for 
mounting forces for combat in the Central Pacific under CENPAC 
or POA command. The CWS, Hawaiian Department, stepped up 
troop training as its immediate share in the expected CENPAC re- 

76 Unmacht, Summary of Activities of CWS in POA, 19 Feb 45. CWS 314*7- 

Colonel Unmacht Watching Trainees Wash Gas from Clothing, 



sponsibilities. Unmacht did not establish a theater school as Copthorne 
had done in SWPA, but he inaugurated a series of gas officer and gas 
NCO courses for various elements of the department and for combat 
organizations. While the first informal instruction had been given 
to a group of air wardens only a few days after the attack on Pearl 
Harbor, the first course, for 278 UGO's and UGNCO's, was given 
17-18 August 1942 in the Fort Shafter gymnasium. Two more ad- 
vanced courses were given in September and October, and training for 
the year was brought to a rousing finish during three days in December 
when the departmental CWS staged a chemical warfare maneuver with 
1,295 participants. 

Position of the Theater Chemical Officer 

At the end of 1942 the Hawaiian Department reorganized from 
an advance and rear echelon structure in which both echelons were 
responsible for all functions under the direction of the rear echelon, to 
a more conventional combat forces, service forces, and air forces pat- 
tern and added an echelon for military government since the territory 
was still under military control. Unmacht remained the department 
chemical officer with responsibilities in all four fields. His position was 
unique among chief chemical officers overseas in that he was both 
staff officer and commander of the chemical warfare troops not assigned 
to other organizations. 78 

In actually commanding troops, Unmacht came closer to the manual 
definition of a chief of service than any other chief chemical officer. 
But this was not the only way in which Unmacht's position differed 
from the positions of the other chief chemical officers. The Hawaiian 
Department and its successor commands, U.S. Army Forces, Central 
Pacific Area (USAFICPA), U.S. Army Forces, Pacific Ocean Areas 
(USAFPOA), and U.S. Army Forces, Middle Pacific (USAFMID- 
PAC), were in fact theater headquarters of the kind envisioned in 
the War Department organization manuals, and in these headquarters, 
unlike those in Europe, North Africa, and the Southwest Pacific, a 
commander, who did not double also as a supreme commander, was 
resident. 77 Unmacht therefore had more opportunity to present his 

70 Hawaiian Dept GO no, 29 Jul 43. 

"The Central Pacific Army headquarters was not technically a theater headquarters since no over-all 
Pacific theater command was organized and since the Centra] Pacific Army headquarters was supervised 
by POA, a superior headquarters with a larger jurisdiction. 



proposals directly to his commander, Lt. Gen. Delos C. Emmons, until 
May 1943 and Lt. Gen. Robert C. Richardson, Jr., thereafter, than 
did chief chemical officers in other theaters and areas. As Unmacht 
himself phrased the relationship, "We receive a lot of encouragement 
and impetus from topside." 78 With the theater naval command, 
which stood in a position roughly comparable to supreme headquarters 
in other theaters, Unmacht had a good relationship although the Navy 
took little interest in chemical warfare until combat experience proved 
the value of the chemical mortar and flame throwers. Navy and Marine 
Corps officers assigned to chemical duties were usually junior, but 
commanders frequently consulted Unmacht on chemical supply and 
training. A reciprocal agreement was worked out whereby the CWS 
would use the Navy impregnation plant at Pearl Harbor in return for 
impregnating Navy uniforms. When in the summer of 1944 Navy 
interest in chemical warfare quickened, Admiral Nimitz, in his capacity 
as Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, appointed a chemical officer to 
his own staff — Capt. Tom B. Hill, USN, who worked in close co- 
operation with Unmacht. 79 

The Offensive Period in the Central Pacific 
Organization of the Theater Chemical Office, 1943-45 

On the eve of combat operations in the Central Pacific, Unmacht 
twice reorganized his office to reflect the increase in activities relating 
to combat planning and training. In January 1943 Captain Doty, 
recently promoted, became executive officer and chief of a new Intelli- 
gence Division. Reilly, now a captain, became chief of Plans and 
Training Division and was assigned an officer assistant. Except for 
redesignation as divisions, administration and supply remained un- 
changed from the 1942 organization. At the end of June 1943, with 
an increased workload and greater availability of officers, Unmacht 
again reorganized his office on a pattern very similar to that prescribed 
in prewar planning for a theater chemical office. Doty, now a major, 
became operations and executive officer. Intelligence Division was 
given the added duty of supervising technical functions. Unmacht 

"Personal Ltr, Unmacht to Waitt, 29 Oct 42. CWS 314.7 Pers Files, MIDPAC. 
"Waitt and Javits to CCWS, ij Dec 44, Rpt of Trip to POA and SWPA. CWS 314.7 Observer 





















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had detailed a few men with technical experience to set up a small 
laboratory with locally obtained equipment and supplies. At the end 
of 1943 a laboratory company arrived to assume technical duties. 
The Plans and Training Division was enlarged and redesignated Oper- 
ations and Training Division. 

The June 1943 reorganization established the form from which the 
theater chemical section varied but slightly until 194^ At that time 
an organization consisting of five policy and supervisory divisions and 
one administration division was approved. \{Chart 8)\ Lt. Col. Edouard 

R. L. Doty, again promoted, remained as executive officer with duties as 
assistant chemical officer, supervisor of the theater chemical plan, and 
liaison officer to field chemical sections and the Navy. Operational plan- 
ning, base development, personnel and unit assignments, and redevelop- 
ment planning were assigned to the Operations Division. Capt. Jerome 
K. Holmes, in civilian life a chemist, headed the Intelligence and Tech- 
nical Division which supervised intelligence and laboratory operations 
and which prepared or supervised the preparation of all technical and 
intelligence reports. Maj. R. Beverly Caldwell headed the Special 
Projects Division which was charged with training, inspections, super- 
vision of, and planning for, defense against biological warfare, and 
technical developments outside the usual laboratory sphere. The Toxic 
Gas Warfare Division was assigned supervision of gas warfare doctrine 
development, surveillance of toxic munitions, and liaison with the air 
forces, which in this theater, as in the rest of the world, had become 
virtually independent of the local Army command. 

Colonel Unmacht delegated operating supply functions and detailed 
supply planning to the Chemical Office, Central Pacific Base Command, 
which had been organized under Maj. Roland P. Fournier on 1 July 
1944. In his own office, Unmacht retained the Supply and Logistics 
Division. To this division the CWS chief assigned policy functions 
relating to operational projects and forecasts for requirements and 
transportation and analysis functions relating to supply reporting. 

Gas Warfare Preparedness 

The Chemical Section, Hawaiian Department, like the chemical 
sections all over the world, had a paramount interest in gas warfare 
preparedness. Although Unmacht had devoted most of his attention 
after the Pearl Harbor attack to immediate individual and collective 



protection, he also surveyed the department's ability to retaliate in the 
case of gas warfare. There were some toxics in the area, but the means 
of retaliation, like the possibility of being able to reach any enemy 
force, were indeed slim in 1942. Even had they been ample, however, 
the nearest target was so far away as to make the immediate possibility 
of retaliation a remote one. Unmacht set about improving the supply 
status and at the same time inaugurated both offensive and defensive 
training. He also arranged to check on both methods of training. 

In June and July 1942 the War Department ordered chemical offen- 
sive training in the theaters, and the CWS in the Central Pacific com- 
plied by providing training for CWS units and chemical sections. 80 
In August the department CWS initiated a schedule for spot-check 
inspections of Army units in the Central Pacific to determine their 
readiness for gas warfare. Of the 522 units inspected by the end of 
October, 12 percent proved to be thoroughly prepared, 69 percent 
satisfactorily prepared, and 19 percent partially prepared or without 
any preparation. Renewed training, especially of UGO's and 
UGNCO's, and new issues of supplies soon enabled all units to come 
up to acceptable standards of preparedness. While these preparedness 
measures were being accomplished, the War Department in December 
1942 called for the submission of a gas warfare plan. 81 

The first Hawaiian Department gas warfare plan, which was co- 
ordinated with the local Navy and Marine Corps commands, was 
dispatched to the War Department on 8 February 1943. The plan 
simply indicated that in the event of gas warfare maximum use of 
available weapons and equipment would be made, and no request for 
special supplies was included. The heart of the plan consisted of a 
detailed plea for the immediate provision of chemical units and man- 
power, including a chemical weapons regiment, air and ground service 
troops, and chemical staff personnel. 82 The War Department at first 
indicated that no troops were available but in July requested restudy 
and resubmission of the troop request. 83 Unmacht replied by reviewing 
the problems of preparedness. In his opinion these were: (r) lack of 

"Ltr, Unmacht to CG Hawaiian Dept, 7 Jan 43, sub: Theater Plans for Cml Warfare. CWS 314.7 
Central Pacific Theater. 
* Ibid. 

83 Ltr, CG Hawaiian Dept to TAG, 8 Feb 43, sub: Theater Plans for Cml Warfare. Hawaiian Dept 
AG 381. 

88 Ltr, Unmacht to CG Hawaiian Dept, 17 Aug 43, sub: Theater Plans for Cml Warfare. CWS 314-7 
Central Pacific Theater. 



suitable aircraft and trained airmen for toxic spray missions; (2) lack 
of chemical troops for ground retaliation and for providing artificial 
smoke protection; (3) inadequate decontamination troops and lack 
of centralized control over decontamination squads in the Seventh 
Air Force; and (4) insufficient manpower for service operations. 
Unmacht asked first priority for service units and a smoke generator 
battalion since such troops were urgently needed. He assigned a lower 
priority to, but still cited an urgent need for, nine CWS staff officers 
in addition to the fifteen authorized, and a chemical mortar battalion. 84 

During the period from the August 1943 reappraisal until November 
of 1944, most of the service, smoke, and mortar units that the Central 
Pacific CWS required in the absence of gas warfare were received from 
the continental United States or were acquired when the South Pacific 
Area organization was consolidated with the Central Pacific. 85 Also 
during that period Unmacht was delegated the responsibility for co- 
ordinating and consolidating all gas warfare plans for Army (including 
Army Air Forces), Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard elements in the 
Pacific Ocean Areas. Since the POA administrative organization had 
long permitted Unmacht to work with all of these elements, he and 
his staff were well acquainted with the needs and capabilities of each. 
The consolidated gas warfare plan, formulated in June and July, was 
consequently extensive and specific, even including an annex listing 
and describing selected aerial objectives for possible retaliatory gas 
attacks on the enemy. The first concern now was not service units or 
weapons since the POA was well equipped or had the promise of being 
well equipped early in 1945, but, rather, the strategic plan. 86 Also of 
concern was the supply of toxics which, considering the scope of the 
plan, still existed only in token quantities. 

The strategic planning question was to be answered through the 
co-ordination of the Pacific area plans by the United States Chemical 
Warfare Committee. In General Porter's opinion the CWS would 
have been ready for gas warfare in the Pacific had it broken out in 
1944 or 1945 87 No new duties were indicated for the CWS POA by 
the strategic plans. Unmacht continued his emphasis on gas warfare 

M ibid. 

85 Memo, Unmacht for Waitc, 4 Nov 44, CWS 314.7 Central Pacific Theater. 

841 Ltr, Unmacht to CCWS, 8 Jul 44, sub: Theater Plans for Cml Warfare. USAFCPA CWS 381 in 
CWS 314.7 Central Pacific Theater. 

87 (1) Porter Interv, 24 Aug 61. (2) See Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for W ar r \ch. IV. | 



and nongas warfare chemical training, on technical intelligence, and 
on the special projects assigned to his service. 

Training in the Offensive Period 

Divisional duties in the 1945 organization reflected the activities of 
the CWS in the Central Pacific in the period 1943-45. The tempo of 
training, as noted above, increased greatly during these years. During 
1943, the CWS presented chemical warfare courses including four for 
various Marine Corps elements, two for Navy commands, and eight 
for Army combat organization UGO's and UGNCO's. Another chem- 
ical field maneuver with 1,376 participants was held 28-31 July. 
According to the G— 3 report, this maneuver included: 

. . . use of smoke, use and types of smoke-producing equipment, use 
of chemical land mines and minefields including students 3 laying of 
minefields, firing of chemical munitions from all types of weapons, 
decontamination methods and problems, use of protective clothing 
and equipment, demonstration of field hospital methods of handling 
gas casualties by Medical Corps personnel, tactical use of flame throwers, 
incendiaries, filling of airplane spray tanks, and spray attack on 
column [of students on a] road. 88 

The same report indicated that participants were favorably impressed 
by the maneuver. 

In September 1943, two months before the first Central Pacific 
forces assault on Makin Atoll, the CWS presented the first course of 
instruction in the operation of the portable flame thrower. Many 
similar courses followed since in the Central Pacific as in the South 
and Southwest Pacific, the flame thrower became a valued infantry 
weapon and a particular favorite of the Marine Corps. From January 
to May 1944, Unmacht's immediate staff prepared a total of thirty- two 
courses, including, for the first time in February 1944, a course on the 
vehicle-mounted flame thrower developed and manufactured by the 
CWS, Navy, and Marines in Hawaii. 

In July 1944, after giving courses or demonstrations for nearly 
37,000 students, Unmacht's office turned over the operating training 
responsibility to the Chemical Officer, Central Pacific Base Command. 
Between 1 July 1944 and 31 August 1945 the CPBC office conducted 

88 Memo, Capt G. L. Quigley, CAC, for Col Keliher, OACofS G-3, Hawaiian Dept, 4 Aug 43, sub: 
Rpt on Dept Cml Field Exercise. Reproduced as an. I-c, History of Cml Sec USAFMIDPAC. 



gas courses, lectures, and demonstrations for 38,933 students. In view 
of the fact that all of this instruction was given at the highest area 
Army (and sometimes Navy) level and that the usual organization 
and unit schools continued to be conducted, the training record of 
the CWS in the Central Pacific was a particularly outstanding one. 
The CENPAC CWS took full advantage of the fact that the Hawaiian 
Islands were used as a staging area through which many units and 
combat organizations were being rotated and given advanced training. 
Lt, CoL James E. Reilly, Unmacht's training officer for most of the 
active period, received the Legion of Merit for his accomplishments. 

Chemical Warfare Intelligence 

The intelligence activities of the Central Pacific chemical office 
actually began in January 1943 when Maj. Nelson McKaig, formerly 
a member of Unmacht's staff and then Chemical Officer, 25 th Infantry 
Division, sent in from the South Pacific a Japanese gas mask. The 
staff of the improvised laboratory immediately set to work analyzing 
the mask. In February McKaig sent a shipment of Japanese chemical 
warfare materials. Since chemical intelligence combat teams did not 
begin to function in SWPA until the following November, Central 
Pacific laboratory analyses of such materials were among the earliest 
although the 426 Chemical Laboratory Company in SWPA had ob- 
tained some items. 89 Thereafter, a fairly regular flow of captured 
chemical items came to the theater CWS, mostly through intelligence 
channels. Lt. Robert E. Wingard, the first Intelligence Division chief 
who was able to devote most of his attention to the task, set up the 
chemical office as a clearinghouse for intelligence information. He both 
received information from and transmitted it to the theater intelligence 
authorities, OCCWS, the laboratory, and field chemical officers. In 
November 1943, Unmacht also assigned Wingard to the supervision 
of the CWS portion of an Army-Navy project for the study of micro- 
meteorological conditions in advanced Pacific bases. The data thus 
collected became a part of theater gas warfare planning, and the study 
was continued for the duration of the war. The Intelligence Division 
trained CWS field officers to collect meteorological data, and CWS 
elements of island garrison forces contributed to this collection. 

158 ( 1 ) See above, pp. | 197I |2oj| (1) For an account of laboratory work, see below, [Chapter VII. | 



Holmes succeeded Wingard in July 1944. Holmes concentrated on 
widening the field of intelligence liaison and on building up an extensive 
file of intelligence information not only of theater origin but also of 
that originating in other theaters or from allied sources. The Intelli- 
gence Division also compiled catalogs of enemy materiel for ready 
field reference. The section staff interviewed CWS officers returning 
from combat in order to find out and publish lessons learned. Holmes 
combed the entire catalog compilation for the most significant gas 
warfare data which he included in an annex to the theater gas warfare 

Special Projects and Technical Activities 

The CWS in the Central Pacific devoted a major part of its attention 
during World War II to special projects and technical developments. 
The first special project, as recounted above, was the equipping and 
training of civilians in gas defense. In connection with this first project, 
CWS officers, Medical Corps officers, and civil defense officials devel- 
oped, tested, and supervised the manufacture of gas protective hoods 
for small children. The hoods were made more attractive for children 
by the addition of "bunny" ears. Officials also supplied the "bunny" 
hood to patients in the leper colony on Molokai Island. 

As the combat period approached, Colonel Unmacht and his staff 
turned their attention from numerous projects in gas warfare defense 
and decontamination to the nontoxic chemical weapons and munitions. 
Their work on the flame thrower tank, and later on stabilized flame 
thrower fuels, was the outstanding overseas development work of the 
worldwide CWS. 90 Unmacht was a strong proponent of the use of 
the 4.2-inch chemical mortar with high-explosive shell, and the devel- 
opment, testing, and combat supply of a landing craft mortar mount- 
ing for Pacific amphibious operations represented one of his achieve- 
ments in the field of combat support. The mortar gun boat 
development was also a noteworthy example of Army-Navy 

As did the chief chemical officers in the European and North African 
theaters, Unmacht treated defense against biological warfare (BW) 
on a special project basis. During the period 1941-44, he co-operated 
with the theater surgeon, Brig. Gen. Edgar King, as well as other 

*°See Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From Laboratory to Field, [:h. VIlJ 



Honolulu High School Boys Repairing Gas Masks For Civilian Use 

service chiefs in inspecting water, ice, and food supplies. CWS units 
participated in insect and rodent control. These measures were ex- 
tended to the forward bases through garrison force medical officers. 
In August 1944, Unmacht was designated to succeed the surgeon as 
theater bacteriological warfare officer in keeping with the assignment 
of that function to the CWS on a global basis. Major Caldwell, as 
Unmacht's representative, then arranged a co-operative plan with the 
surgeon under which the CWS accepted the primary responsibility for 
BW intelligence, the physical protection and training of troops, and 
strategic and tactical BW defense planning. The Medical Department 
reassumed the primary responsibility for inspection of food and water, 
the biological protection of troops, epidemiological control, and the 
care and treatment of casualties. Caldwell, subsequently promoted to 
lieutenant colonel, and Maj. John O. Clements of CPBC performed 
the CWS tasks and worked with the medical officers in the performance 
of their duties. A War Department observer reported in April 1945 



that the theater was "quite BW conscious," and he found that intelli- 
gence information and defensive plans met the required standard. 91 

Colonel Unmacht was an unusually dynamic officer who was not 
afraid to use his energy in any way he felt might contribute to the war 
effort. Few other chemical officers would have believed possible the 
overseas development, much less the assembly, of a main armament 
flame thrower tank. Unmacht not only believed it possible — he got the 
job done. His willingness to undertake large responsibilities in no small 
measure contributed to the success of the CWS in the Central Pacific 
and to the esteem in which the service was held. The Central Pacific 
situation also contributed because the commander, not being also a 
supreme commander as in other theaters, had the time to give support 
to his services. The Central Pacific Army commander did not command 
combat operations, but his support as senior Army commander in the 
theater for most of the war made easier the operation of the CWS. 92 
The CWS also enjoyed an excellent relationship with the POA and 
Navy commands in the area because it was able to provide services 
and weapons support when the Navy and the Marine Corps wanted 
them. The Central Pacific Area and the military facilities in the area 
offered a unique opportunity for accomplishment. The CWS admin- 
istration in the theater was almost ideally suited to these circumstances. 

The environment and the area command situation in SWPA, by 
contrast, were not amenable to the CWS. The chemical officers in 
SWPA strove mightily and ingeniously to provide chemical weapons 
and equipment and to insure preparedness. Their contributions were 
significant, especially in connection with portable flame throwers and 
mortars, but distances and difficulties of communication hampered 
them. Even more hampering was the disadvantageous position of the 
highest CWS echelon in the SWPA service and supply organization. 
While Copthorne maintained that the CWS SWPA was well regarded 
in the theater throughout the war, the CWS until late in the war faced 
the obstacles in performing its gas warfare preparedness duties of work- 
ing through two superior echelons. Gas warfare preparedness in the 
United States, in North Africa, and in Europe, was a joint and Allied 

61 Rpt, Lt Col W. S. Moore co CM IS, Apr 4^ as cited in History, Cml Sec USAFMIDPAC. 
""The commander of the Tench Army, which formed in Hawaii for the Ryukyu Campaign* was sen- 
ior to General Richardson, Central Pacific commander. 



concern, but in SWPA there was no joint or Allied agency through 
which Copthorne could work formally. 

Copthorne and his subordinates evolved some excellent, indirect 
methods, such as the conferences and the intelligence and training 
teams, for presenting the contributions of the CWS. Through the use 
of these methods, Copthorne accomplished co-ordination of his service. 
Unmacht accomplished a similar co-ordination through his relation- 
ships with his superior commands. Rowan achieved his co-ordination 
through a combination of personal diplomacy and supply control. 
Shadle in the MTO did not see the necessity for a close control of his 
service. He accordingly emphasized a lesser co-ordination than the 
other chief chemical officers through staff work in his own headquarters 
and supply troubleshooting on problems which strong field chemical 
sections could not handle. 


Theater Supply: Pacific 

Foundation of Chemical Supply in Australia 
Forming a Theater Stock 

Chemical warfare supplies available to the United States Army 
Forces in Australia in December 1941 consisted of 14,000 empty 100- 
pound bomb casings, a small amount of protective equipment in the 
hands of troops, and the maintenance allowances brought in by the 
3d Chemical Laboratory Company. This company was equipped with 
the training gas mask, a light, snout-type mask with canister directly 
attached to the f acepiece, 1 some 1 x / 2 -quart decontaminating apparatus, 
and a little antigas protective ointment. The unit possessed no non- 
corrosive decontaminating agent for use in the apparatus, no bleach 
(chloride of lime) for area decontamination, and no antigas shoe 
impregnite. Units and individuals subsequently arriving in Australia 
did have personal protective items and decontaminating materials. 
Units also arrived with small maintenance stocks. 2 

USAFIA chemical officers collected the maintenance stocks from 
incoming organizations and units and these constituted the first theater 
chemical warfare supply. Even Task Force 6814, soon to be the 
Americal Division, added to this stock when it stopped over in Mel- 
bourne on the way to New Caledonia. 3 The 3 2d and 41st Infantry 
Divisions, on arriving in Australia in the spring of 1942, also con- 
tributed. The chemical stockpile further increased as the War Depart - 

1 F or description of the various CWS gas masks, see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, from Laboratory to 
ftWrf. lChapter XIV, I 

'Morgan Interv, i Oct 4$. 

"Task force 6814 and the Americal Division are identified in John Miller, jr., Guadalcanal: The 
First Offensive, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1949), p. 215. 



ment diverted to Australia supplies which could not be landed in the 
Philippines and as theater chemical supply officers bought what they 
could in the local market. The USAFIA CWS carefully hoarded all 
equipment for the use of forces which at any moment might move 
out to fight the enemy. Issues were kept to a minimum in the rear 
areas, and some issues of Australian gas masks were made. By 30 June 
1942 the CWS inventory stood at 2,098 short tons. 4 

War Department Policy for the Southwest Pacific Area 

The CWS in SWPA was not yet aware, at the end of June, of the 
War Department supply policy; they had heard nothing at all from the 
United States in the first four months after the establishment of the 
USAFIA and were to have no word from the Office of the Chief, 
Chemical Warfare Service, until July. 5 The basic War Department 
plan was dated 22 January 1942, and the specific plan for the forces 
in Australia was dated 2 February 1942. The specific War Department 
plan called for 90 days' supply of all classes other than ammunition, 
computed on the standard tables of basic allowances (TBA) ; 90 days' 
supply of ground ammunition, computed on the basis of a special 
ammunition day of supply for weapons in the theater; and five months' 
supply of aerial bombs, ammunition, and pyrotechnics, computed ac- 
cording to a special allowance per aircraft in Australia and the Nether- 
lands East Indies. The Adjutant General instructed the technical 
services in the United States to compute allowances and set up ship- 
ments to the San Francisco Port of Embarkation, which was charged 
with shipment to the theater. The chiefs of the technical services 
were also charged with allotting funds to the theater for the operation 
of their services in the theater and for the local procurement of 
materiel. 6 

OCCWS immediately began to set up shipments against the War 
Department plan in accordance with strength figures furnished. It 

* (1) Interv, Hist Off with Ma/ Arthur H. Williams, Jr., 23 Jan 46. (2) Office of the Chief of 
Engineers, GHQ, AFPAC, Engineers of the Southwest Pacific, vol. VII, Engineer Supply (Washington, 
1949), Table 5, p. y 8. 

5 (O Morgan Interv, 1 Oct 45. (2) Personal Ltr, Copthorne, CCmlO USAFIA* to Wilson, Chief 
Field Serv OCCWS, 13 Jul 4*. CWS 319.1 1942. 

6 (r) Ltr, TAG to CG USAFIA, Chiefs Supply Arms and Servs, et al., 22 Jan 42, sub; Sup of Over- 
seas" Depts, Theaters, and Separate Bases. A G 400 ( i-i7-42)MSC-D-M. (Later to be revised as WD 
Memo W-700-8-42, 10 Oct 42. See above, |ch. Hit - (2) Ltr, AG to CG USAFIA, Chiefs Sup Arms 
and Servs, 2 Feb 42, sub: Sup of U.S. Army Forces in the Australian Area. AG 4oo(i-3i-42)MSC- 



calculated requirements for toxics according to the allowances for 
ammunition and aerial bombs. Only mustard gas was available for 
immediate supply. CWS supply authorities questioned the shipment 
of mustard gas without the specific authority which had always been 
necessary for toxic shipments* They also questioned the quantity to be 
shipped because they lacked aircraft strength figures on which aerial 
toxic requirements computations were based. General Brett, USAFIA 
commander, who was probably unaware of these questions within the 
War Department, nevertheless answered them by cabling a request for 
i ,000 tons of mustard. The Chief of Staff queried General MacArthur 
as to his desires and, receiving a confirmation of Brett's request, in 
April directed the shipment. The Services of Supply reduced the 
quantity to 870 tons because of shipping space shortage. OCCWS 
effected shipment on 15 April 1942. 7 

At the time the mustard was being shipped, the theater forces were 
compiling a materiel status report which reached the United States at 
the end of May. According to OCCWS figures, most items were in 
excess of allowances and only one item, the chemical land mine, was 
in short supply, OCCWS attributed excesses to the shipments diverted 
from the Philippines and to cabled special requirements, such as the 
one for mustard and another for incendiary bombs which the Com- 
manding General, Army Air Forces, had ordered shipped. 8 In fact, 
OCCWS apologies for excesses were misleading. Theater chemical offi- 
cers still considered the supply short because, although they had no 
exact knowledge of strength in the theater or supplies in the hands of 
troops, they rightly anticipated a considerable build-up in theater 
strength. 9 Later War Department plans for other theaters provided 
for substantial build-up on the basis of anticipated strength far in 
excess of current strength, but not until the end of the war in Europe 
was in sight did a build-up concept apply to the Pacific. To illustrate, 
OCCWS computed the July 1942 report of chemical materials in 
Australia according to the theater strength and estimated that the 

7 (1) Ltr, Chief Field Serv OCCWS to TAG, if Feb 42, sub: Shipment of Mustard Gas to Australia. 
CWS 320.2/45-79. (2) Memo, ACofS OPD for TAG, 28 Mar 42, sub: Mustard Gas in Australia. 
OPD 475-. 92 sec, r. (3) Memo, Actg Chief Distr Br SOS for CCWS, r? Apr 42, Shipment of Mustard 
Gas to Australia. ASF SP 400(4-19-42). (4) Msg, CCWS to CG USAFIA, 15 Apr 42. CM-OUT 
1296, also in CWS 320.2/54-79. 

s Memo, ACCWS for CG SOS, Attn: Chief Distr Br, 14 Jun 42, sub: Status of Materiel in Australia. 
CWS 320.2/75 (6-14-42). 

e (1) Ltr, Copthorne to Wilson, 13 Jul 42. (2) Williams Interv, 23 Jan 46. 



chemical stock had reached 98 percent of the authorized level. There 
were, at that time, 9^,021 service gas masks for the United States 
forces in Australia, and this quantity was estimated to be 9,000 more 
than the allowance. Yet, also in July 1942, the Army Service Forces 
asked the chiefs of the technical services if they were prepared to 
support 1,000,000 men in the Pacific. 10 On the assumption that at 
least half of this strength would be assigned to SWPA, this would mean 
approximately one mask for every five men as opposed to the European 
theater planning ratio of one mask in stock for each individual who 
would already have an initial issue mask. 11 Even though masks and 
shipping space were not available at the time, some method of supply 
planning that would have anticipated SWPA needs in advance of an 
increase in strength would have caused less confusion. 

Theater Retaliatory Preparedness for Gas Warfare 

There was little that Colonel Copthorne, Chief Chemical Officer, 
USAFIA, and in July USASOS, could do to order enough supplies to 
meet an increase in SWPA strength except to ask that supplies be sent 
in quantities greater than the SWPA allowance. Under War Depart- 
ment supply procedures he could make requests to exceed allowances 
only by explaining at length that unusual circumstances would result 
in the use of extra supplies or that service operations would require 
supplies not listed in the War Department plan for SWPA. The sup- 
plies which prepared SWPA for retaliation in case gas warfare should 
start were mostly obtained, like the first shipment of mustard gas, by 
such requests to exceed the allowances. The CWS SWPA needed toxic- 
filling plants, which were not on the allowance list, to handle this 
first shipment. Copthorne accordingly cabled an order for plants. 
The plants arrived in Australia in July but drawings and assembly 
instructions, which were not available in Australia, did not accompany 
them. The mustard shipment reached Australia in August. In order 
to store the gas in newly established toxic gas yards at Darra, Queens- 
land, and Geelong, Victoria, CWS officers assembled the filling plants 

10 (1) Monthly Materiel Status Rpt 403, USAFIA, as of 15 Jul 42, ACofS G-4 WDGS to CCWS, 
20 Aug" 42. CW5 320.5 /s4~79. (2) Memo, ACofS Opns SOS for Chiefs of Engrs, CWS, et aL, 24 
Jul 42, sub: Storage Facilities for Pacific Opns. AFS SPOPN 486.1; also in CWS 320.2/13-26. 

11 The European ratio was determined by comparing 1943 mask authorization (Baldwin, Bingham, and 
Pritchard, Readiness for Gas Warfare in the Theaters of Operations) with theater projected strength 
(Ruppenthal, Logistical Support of the Armies, I, 128-29). 



by guesswork. The 14,000 100-pound bomb casings were available 
for filling only because USAFIA had been unable to ship them to 
their original destination, the Philippines. While most of the mustard 
was used in filling these bombs, some of it was set aside for filling toxic 
land mines which had been procured in Australia. Mio aircraft spray 
tanks, which came from War Department allowance to SWPA, arrived 
without accessories and mounting instructions. The War Department 
also shipped some toxic-filled artillery shell from allowances. 12 

In March of 1943, when the first gas warfare plan was produced, 
toxics had been further dispersed to six toxic storage yards. One, near 
Charters Towers, Queensland, contained 1 1 5 tons of bulk agents, 5,900 
filled 100-pound bombs, about 1,000 empty spray tanks, and 600 
empty bombs. Another, at Kangaroo, north of Townsville, contained 
5,500 mustard-filled 100-pound bombs and more than 20,000 artillery 
shells. The enlarged Darra yard held nearly 435 tons of bulk agents, 
nearly 90,000 artillery rounds, a small supply of toxic smoke candles, 
and empty bombs, spray tanks, and land mines. A new Columboola 
yard 200 miles west of Brisbane held 11,000 mustard-filled 100-pound 
bombs, and a new yard at Kingswood near Sydney stored only artillery 
shell (approximately 53,000 rounds). The original yard at Geelong 
stored 400 tons of bulk mustard and 3,160 toxic smoke candles. The 
CWS SWPA estimated that in the event of gas warfare the stock at 
Charters Towers would be sufficient for an immediate retaliatory strike. 
Then, within seven hours, spray tanks could be filled and delivered for 
a 16-plane spray mission. The spray mission could thereafter be sus- 
tained from other stocks for 63 plane missions. More missions could 
be flown only if some spray tanks were returned after the flights and 
this was not expected because spray tanks were normally jettisoned. 
The artillery shell could not be used prior to movement to forward 
areas, and no time estimate was given for that movement, presumably 
because the time could not be calculated in the face of uncertainty as 
to the available forms of transport. There was at the time no assurance 
that forward artillery would be on hand to fire the shell since only one 
American artillery piece had gone forward for the recently ended 
Papua Campaign. 13 

u (i) Ltr, Copthorne to Wilson, 13 Jul 42. (2) Morgan Interv, 1 Oct 45. (3) Williams Interv, 
23 Jan 46. 

u CinC GHQ SWPA to TAG, 7 Apr 43, Rpt, Theater Plans for Cml Warfare (hereafter cited as 
Theater Plans, Mar 43). GHQ AG 381 (12-8-42)0. 



Theater Defense Preparedness for Gas Warfare 

On the defensive side, as noted above, every individual in the theater 
was allotted a gas mask, and there was a small reserve, adequate on the 
TBA basis, of service masks. 14 In the opinion of the chemical officers, 
one undoubtedly shared by the troops, the 5 -pound service mask was 
of very limited utility in the tropics. It could not be worn for any 
length of time in a hot climate with even an acceptable degree of dis- 
comfort, and it was too heavy and bulky to be carried by troops, who 
could function efficiently only under a minimum burden. The SWPA 
Chemical Section accordingly requisitioned 228,000 training masks or 
lightweight substitutes for the equipment of, at least, all assault eche- 
lons, and the 2,000 training masks in the theater were earmarked for 
this purpose. 15 OCCWS shipped 139,000 training masks which repre- 
sented the available supply since training masks were also in demand 
elsewhere. The masks arrived, as requested, waterproofed; that is, 
both ends of the canister were sealed. The difficulty with the water- 
proofing job done in the United States was that the seals were paper 
and had to be torn off to put the mask in ready condition. The seals 
could not be restored by the individual user of the mask even if the 
materials had been provided. SWPA chemical officers thereupon set 
out to design restorable seals. Capt. Stephen Penler, commander of the 
412th (later 6zd) Chemical Depot Company, suggested a "milk bottle 
cap" for the valve (outer) end of the canister. 16 A Sydney paper man- 
ufacturer succeeded, after several attempts, in producing the bottle 
cap seal. These seals were packed in small cans and the can inserted 
into a pocket sewn into the mask carrier. The open (mask end) of the 
canister was sealed with a rubber plug, and Capt. John Senter designed 
a quick acting clamp for securing the canister to the facepiece. Both 
plug and clamp were also locally procured. The 10th Chemical Main- 
tenance Company set up a production line and performed the not 
inconsiderable task of modifying masks and carriers. 17 More than a 
year later the CWS in the United States provided a reusable rubber 
cap which could be attached to the valve end of the canister. 

"Theater Plans, Mar 43. 
16 Ibid. 

"Captain Penler was killed in an air accident in December 1942. 

" (1) Ltr, Copthorne to Hist Off, 16 Feb 51. (2) Lt Col Irving R. Mollen, Chemical Warfare 
Sup — SWPA, World War II, 16 May j2. MS in CMLHO. This article also appeared in Armed Forces 
Chemical Journal, vol. XI, No. 2 (March-April, i?s7)» pp. 34-36, and No. 3 (May-June, i9S7)» PP* 



Furnishing protective clothing was an even greater problem than 
supplying the mask. In SWPA, as elsewhere in the world, protective 
clothing storage and issue was a quartermaster responsibility, but im- 
pregnating the clothing with antigas chemicals was a CWS responsi- 
bility. 18 Also in SWPA, as elsewhere, the CWS and the Quartermaster 
Corps worked in close co-operation. The first supply of protective 
clothing came from the United States in July 1942. Because fighting 
would be in the tropics, it was unfortunate that much of the clothing, 
including underwear, was woolen. Just as the supply arrived instruc- 
tions were received that all garments must be modified by the insertion 
of gussets and double flies to afford increased protection at trousers 
and shirt openings. 19 Quartermaster employees made the gussets and 
flies and inserted them; the CWS rented a dry-cleaning establishment 
in Melbourne for the dual purpose of impregnating the gussets and 
flies and of testing an improvised impregnating process. Copthorne 
secured the formula for the American impregnite from the Australians 
who got it from the chemical warfare experimental station in England. 
The direct channels of communication with the United States had 
again failed. 20 

The experience in the rented dry-cleaning plant proved the impro- 
vised impregnating process acceptable. The CWS acquired two Eng- 
lish-made Maja trichlorethylene dry-cleaning plants and three com- 
mercial laundry dryers, and by the middle of October had this 
equipment in operation in a factory in Sydney. There the CWS im- 
pregnated such clothing as the quartermaster had in stock. 21 

Copthorne, writing to Brig. Gen. Alexander Wilson in OCCWS, 
questioned the sense of providing prescribed double-layer (long under- 
wear, outer garments, gloves, sox, leggings, and hood) protection in a 
climate where that much clothing could certainly not be worn. 22 
Wilson replied that the War Department was working on worldwide 
protective policy and that, for the time being, the SWPA CWS could 

18 See Alvin P. Stauffer, The Quartermaster Corps: Operations in the War Against Japan, UNITED 
STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 19*6), pp. 202-03. 

w Ltr, TAG to CINC SWPA et a/., 14 Jul 42, sub: Cml Warfare Protective Clothing. AG 420 
(S Jul 41) MS-SPOPS-M. 

x (t) Ltr, Copthorne to Hist Ofr, 16 Feb yr. (2) Personal Ltr, Copthorne to Porter, 14 Oct 42. 

11 Ltr, Copthorne to Porter, 14 Aug 42. 

22 A survey in 1943 disclosed that 38 percent of rear area troops in New Guinea wore no under- 
wear whereas the figure for combat area troops who dispensed with these items was 100 percent. 
Grothaus and Brady to CCWS, 29 Mar 44, Rpt on Visit to Southwest, South and Central Pacific Areas. 
CWS 314.7 Observer Rpts.) 



only furnish the prescribed level under the assumption that the area 
commander would weigh the risk of gas warfare against the efficiency 
of the soldier and instruct subordinate commanders as to his policy on 
wearing protective clothing. The question of policy was never settled 
to theater satisfaction. The March 1943 SWPA gas warfare plans 
provided only that outer garments and leggings would be stocked in 
forward areas while underwear was held in rear reserve. 23 The world- 
wide policy adopted over a year later, in April 1944, provided that 
only 15 percent of SWPA soldiers would have double-layer protection 
available. 24 Other forward area combat and service troops, or 3 5 per- 
cent of the area command, were given one and a half layer (outer gar- 
ments, gloves, leggings, and hood, plus cotton drawers) protection, and 
the rear area troops, estimated at jo percent of the command, were 
not provided with any protective clothing. 25 Copthorne believed that 
mid-thigh length knit cotton shorts would afford nearly as good pro- 
tection as the cotton drawers and would be bearable in the tropics. 26 
The 1944 plan permitted the use of knit shorts, when available, for 
one and a half layer protection. 

Other items of protection against gas warfare were the decontami- 
nants and the equipment to disperse them. The decontaminants in- 
cluded personal protective ointment, noncorrosive decontaminant for 
vehicles and equipment, and bleach, the area decontaminant. Since 
the Mi protective ointment was in short supply and regarded by 
SWPA officers as of doubtful effectiveness, the CWS SWPA improvised 
an individual protective kit consisting of swabs, kerosene (a solvent for 
vesicant gases), an alkaline soft soap produced locally, and a half 
measure of Mr ointment. 27 General Porter advised Copthorne that the 
Mi ointment had been reappraised and redesignated M4 and that new 
techniques for its use had been evolved. OCCWS at the time considered 
the M4 ointment effective without a solvent or soap to accompany it. 28 
The solvent and soap in the SWPA kit served as a substitute for oint- 
ment until a sufficient quantity of M4 ointment was received late in 

9 Theater Plans, Mar 4}. 

"Ltr, TAG to CINC SWPA ct al.> 24 Apr 44, sub: Cml Warfare Protective Clothing Accessories and 
Equip. AG 410 (18 Mar 44) OB-S-SPOPP-M. 

85 See Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for War, |ch. IV .| 

£G Ltr, CCmlO USASOS to CCWS, 29 Jan 43, sub: Use of Jockey Midway Shorts. CWS USASOS 

27 Copthorne to Porter, 14 Oct 42. 

28 Pers Ltr, Porter to Copthorne, 12 Nov 42. 



1942. The War Department at the same time sent enough noncorrosive 
decontaminating agent and its disperser, the i l / 2 -quart apparatus. 
Bleach supplies were growing, but the theater was still short of full 
allowance. Chemical officers believed that bleach would deteriorate in 
the tropics. Although the first tests proved that American bleach was 
standing up well, SWT A officers found after a few months that both 
the bleach and its containers deteriorated. To fill shortages, the CWS 
bought bleach from the Australians. The supply men discovered a 
double benefit in this procurement. Not only was the bleach more 
readily obtained, but also it was more stable in the tropics and the 
containers could better withstand the inevitable rough handling. The 
supply was unfortunately limited by the small production of chlorine 
in Australia. As for the dispersing equipment — the 3 -gallon hand 
decontaminating apparatus and the 400-gallon power-driven apparatus 
— the hand apparatus was available in considerable quantity, more than 
a thousand in excess of allowance in February 1943, and the stock of 
powered apparatus, r r 5 in February, was sufficient for critical needs 
even though 1 8 short of allowance. It is very doubtful that much area 
decontamination would have been possible in the jungle in any case. 
Gas detection devices and gas alarms were not available although the 
latter could be improvised. 29 

The one protective item of which there was a definite overage was 
the gasproof curtain. The curtain was designed for World War I trench 
warfare and was still issued on a World War I basis of two curtains 
for 20 men. The SWPA CWS asked the San Francisco port to stop 
shipping curtains and suggested to area forces that those on hand 
might be used for foxhole covers in event of vesicant gas attack, since 
the individual protective cover was not yet available to serve that 
purpose. OCCWS soon changed the basis of issue to two per 200 men 
and designated the curtains for use at command posts, communications 
centers, and medical installations. 30 

w (1) Copthorne to Wilson, 13 Jul 42. (2) Copthorne to Porter, 14 Oct 42. (3) Mollen, 
Cml Warfare Sup — SWPA, World War II. (4) Monthly Materiel Status Rpt 403, USAFIA, as of ij 
Jul 42. (j) Theater Plans, Mar 43. (6) Baldwin, Bingham, and Pritchard, Readiness for Gas Warfare 
in Theaters of Opns, app. B. 

80 (1) Copthorne to Porter, 14 Oct 42, (2) Porter to Copthorne, 12 Nov 42. 



Theater Chemical Supply Status — End of the Preparatory Phase 

In sum, the CWS SWPA had by the end of 1942 reached the status 
of gas warfare supply, both offensive and defensive, reflected in the 
area gas warfare plans reported to the War Department on March 1943. 
That is, except for gas detection, SWPA could defend against any gas 
warfare emergency involving troops likely to be in direct contact with 
the enemy. Offensively, the air forces could make an immediate re- 
taliatory strike and although they could sustain retaliation for only a 
brief period, this might have been sufficient considering the distances 
which isolated individual enemy forces in the theater. The big problem 
was service in the event of gas warfare. The only available facility 
for clothing impregnation was the improvised Sydney plant. The CWS 
estimated that in the event of gas warfare, it would need several chem- 
ical impregnating companies, three additional air service units, and 
one chemical composite company per forward area division. The 
ability of services other than the CWS to handle gas warfare was also 
dependent upon increasing service capability. For example, Australian 
hospitals would have to bear the load of gas casualty treatment because 
the American hospitals did not then have enough manpower and 
facilities. Forward area medical service would have been sadly deficient 
for the same reasons although the chief chemical officer and the SWPA 
surgeon had co-operated in improvising a field gas treatment kit which 
would have afforded assistance to medical officers in the field. 31 

While the SWPA supply of most gas warfare items could be con- 
sidered adequate, the supply of nongas warfare chemical items was 
clearly inadequate. There were few hand grenades and little smoke 
equipment. In fact, smoke munitions were so scarce that Colonel 
Copthorne ordered the improvisation and testing of a smoke apparatus 
using FS mixture procured in Australia. There were some flame 
throwers of the kind that had proved unemployable in the Papua 
Campaign, but there were no mortars and only 1,000 rounds of mortar 
shell. The general chemical inventory, which from July to December 
1942 had grown from 2,098 short tons to 5,093 short tons, was there- 
fore mostly gas warfare items. The greatest gain, from 299 to 1,641 
tons, had been in Class V, ammunition, the class into which the toxics 

* l (1) Ltr, CCmlO USASOS to CWS, 16 Jan 43, sub: Directions for Use of Cml Warfare Sups. 
CWS USASOS 461 APO 501 (Directions). (2) Williams Interv, 23 Jan 46* (i) Theater Plans, 
Mar 43. 



fell. During the last six months of 1942, the CWS had received 4,983 
short tons of materiel. The bulk of this total, 4,645 short tons, came 
from imports, mostly from the United States, but 139 tons, the greater 
portion of which was laboratory equipment and production supplies, 
had come from, distress cargoes (cargoes landed in Australia because 
they could not reach destinations in the combat zone), and 199 tons 
came from local procurement. Although the latter figure was small, 
its size is not the measure of its importance since most of the items so 
procured were critical. 32 

The Tyranny of Climate and Distance 

Establishment of a New Guinea base in August 1942 and the events 
of the Papua Campaign brought sharply into focus the problems dealing 
with the condition of both gas warfare and nongas warfare chemical 
materiel. SWPA chemical officers had been aware from the first that 
much of the equipment received was rushed production not of the 
highest quality, but conditions of storage and issue in New Guinea 
demonstrated that every weakness in design, manufacture, inspection, 
packaging, and shipment was magnified many times when items were 
subjected to the extremes of heat, humidity, and rough handling un- 
avoidable in the tropics and semitropics. Sometimes these problems 
could be resolved or reduced to manageable proportions in SWPA; 
sometimes they could be met by improvements in the United States; 
sometimes area forces simply had to adjust to living with the problems. 
Often a combination of these solutions applied, as in the case of the 
flame throwers, for example. 


The deterioration of bleach, mentioned above, was another problem 
which called forth a joint effort but which was never solved with com- 
plete satisfaction. SWPA received and stored bleach in light-gauge, 
painted and unpainted steel drums of 70-, 100-, 140-, and 300-pound 
capacity. Handling the larger drums was a problem, but it became 
apparent, late in 1942, that the handling difficulty was insignificant 
compared to the problem arising from corrosion of the containers and 

a (1) Morgan Interv, i Occ 45. (2) Copehorne to Porter, 14 Oct 42. (3) Office of the Chief of 
Engineers, GHQ, AFP AC, Engineer Supply, pp. 57-58, Tables 4 and 5. 



deterioration of the bleach. Copthorne in December 1942 ordered a 
survey of bleach in semitropical and tropical storage to determine how 
great the loss might be. Base section chemical officers found that all 
the 100-pound nonpainted drums surveyed had corroded and that the 
bleach had deteriorated below the standard acceptable for decontami- 
nation. Corrosion of larger unpainted drums, for some unexplained 
reason, was negligible while 77.2 percent of 100-pound drums painted 
brown had corroded. Orange-painted drums in both 70- and 100- 
pound sizes had stood up well. In all, the CWS turned over 2j tons 
of deteriorated bleach to the engineers for water purification use. A 
few weeks later the New Guinea base reported corroding drums and 
deteriorating bleach. Copthorne could only advise that, since there was 
probably no solution other than the impractical one of lacquering the 
drums inside and out, deteriorated bleach should be turned over to 
other services and replacement requisitioned. A part of the replace- 
ment could come from Australian sources, but the bulk would have 
to come from the United States. 33 

OCCWS was at work on the problem when Copthorne informed it 
of his experience. The War Department CWS finally succeeded in 
obtaining a more stable bleach and in improving the container, 34 but 
the tropical climate continued to take its toll in every storage place 
from Australia to the Philippines. Fortunately, the deteriorated bleach 
was still adequate for the hygienic uses to which the Quartermaster 
Corps and the Corps of Engineers could put it. Because of this second- 
ary use, the demands on critically short transportation were no greater 
than they would have been had each service obtained its own supply. 
The CWS SWPA was forced to adjust to the demands of continuous 
survey of stocks and handling transfers. 35 

Noncorrosive Decontaminating Agent 

Another decontaminant problem concerned the noncorrosive decon- 
taminating agent (DANC). The agent was a mixture of solvent, 
acetylene tetrachloride, and a dry chemical known as RH 19 j. The 

88 (1) Ltr, CCmlO USASOS to CCWS, ro Dec 42, sub: Corrosion of Chloride of Lime Containers 
(CWS USASOS 470.6), and 1st Ind, CCWS to CCmlO USASOS, 24 Feb 43. CWS SPCVO 470.6 
(12-10-42). (2) Lcr, CWO Serv Comd APO 502 to CCmlO USASOS, 14 Jan 43, no sub, and 1st 
Ind, CCmlO USASOS to CTO Serv Comd APO 502, 2 Feb 43. 

34 Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From Laboratory to Field, ch XVI. 

"Mollen, Cml Warfare Sup — SWPA, World War II. 



two components were shipped and stored unmixed in a 2-compartment 
6-gallon drum with the RH 195 packed in the compartment above 
the acetylene tetrachloride. The dry chemical apparently corroded the 
seal between the two compartments allowing the contents to mix; the 
resulting mixure had a life of about three months. Drums dented in 
shipment almost inevitably corroded because the lacquer on interior 
surfaces scaled off around the dent. After the first discovery of this 
packaging deficiency in October 1942, base section chemical depot 
troops opened dented drums and transferred serviceable RH 195 to 
bottles. If the chemical had combined with the solvent, the mixture 
was stored for its serviceable life, and when manpower and equipment 
were available the solvent was reclaimed at the end of that life. The 
area CWS obtained a crimping machine to reseal drums containing new 
and reclaimed solvent. The War Department CWS strengthened the 
RH 195 compartment, made it of a metal more receptive to preserva- 
tive lacquer, provided a corrosion-proof plastic gasket between com- 
partments, and, eventually, designed a new dual container. But still 
the CWS in the Pacific had trouble — the old container continued to 
come through the supply system. One base section received 14,000 
old containers in the four months ending in September 1943. The 
noncorrosive decontaminating agent problem was one that the CWS 
SWPA learned to live with. 36 

The one and a half quart decontaminating apparatus for dispersing 
the noncorrosive decontaminant and the 3 -gallon apparatus were poorly 
crated. The crate consisted of a wooden frame with a cardboard liner; 
both cardboard and wood frequently failed with almost disastrous 
results when the crates were used as a base in warehouse stocks. 37 
Another minor but annoying packaging defect was in the pack for 
shoe impregnite. The War Department CWS shipped the preparation 
in small cans packed in cardboard boxes. The boxes were too heavy 
for one man to handle, and the cardboard simply disintegrated after 
brief exposure to the weather. The CWS solved this problem by 
switching to small wooden boxes. 38 

Ltr, CCmlO USASOS to CCWS, 16 Nov 42, sub: Deterioration of RH 195 Containers. 
CWS USASOS GSCW 400.2. (z) Ltr, CCWS to CCmlO USASOS, 18 Dec 42, sub: Deterioration of 
RH 195 Containers. CWS SPCVO 470.6 (12-18-42). (3) Ltr, CCmlO USASOS to CCWS, 29 Sep 
43, sub: Defective DANC Containers (CWS USASOS GSCW), with 1st Ind, ACCWS Field Opns to 
CCmlO USASOS, 25 Oct 43. CWS SPCVO 457 APO 501 (29 Sep 43). (4) Grothaus-Brady Rpt. 

37 Grothaus-Brady Rpt. 

39 Morgan Interv, r Oct 4j. 



The Gas Mask 

A considerably more serious problem arose from the effect of the 
jungle climate on gas masks and carriers. Fungi attacked the glass 
lens of the Australian gas masks which American troops were using. 
Molds and mildew covered and rotted gas mask carriers and the harness 
of the mask itself. Rust and corrosion ate away canisters, buckles, and 
rivets. In the 41st Infantry Division the chemical officer, Colonel 
Arthur, prescribed a daily brushing of the carrier, but this only retarded 
the growth of mold and mildew. Furthermore, brushing was possible 
only for masks kept by individuals, who usually had them only for 
short periods. Assault troops carried masks in landing and dropped 
them as soon as the risk of initiation of gas warfare was determined to 
be slight. These masks were uncared for until chemical officers could 
assemble details or obtain service troops to collect, inspect, and store 
them. In early operations losses were large, as much as 45 percent in 
one assault, and the number of recovered masks rendered unserviceable 
was also large. Better recovery techniques, especially those evolved 
when service detachments landed with assault troops, reduced losses 
to 5 percent and greatly increased the number of serviceable masks 
recovered. 39 

OCCWS believed that the SWPA mask problems might be solved 
by the introduction of the lightweight service mask in 1943. The 
lightweight mask and its carrier were more rugged than the training 
mask then in use in SWPA, and the carrier was water resistant and 
therefore was more resistant to mold and mildew. Also, the CWS 
provided an adhesive tape waterproofing for the canister. Colonel 
Arthur set up a wearing test of the mask in the 41st Division. The 
facepiece was plainly superior to that of the training mask, but the 
canister rusted as badly, and the adhesive tape waterproofing tended 
to remove the paint, thus accelerating rusting. With waterproofing 
clamp in place the rubber hose from canister to facepiece softened and 
distorted in twelve days, and the adhesive tape waterproofing proved 
of doubtful value under tropical conditions. Also, the carrier, although 
apparently more resistant to deterioration, proved somewhat bulky to 

w (1) Ltr, CmlO 41st Inf Div to CmlO USAFFE, 7 Jun 43, sub: Mold on Gas Mask Carriers. 
Sixth Army 475— Weapons for Jungle Warfare. (2) Mollen, Cml Warfare Sup— SWPA, World War 
II. (3) Ltr, CO 42d Cml Lab Co SWPA to Chief Tech Div OCCWS, 1 Sep 43, sub: Transmittal of 
Mold Cultures. 



wear and, as in Normandy, offered a target for sharpshooters. Arthur 
recommended that the SWP A -devised training mask and waterproofing 
be retained but that the lightweight facepiece be substituted for the 
training facepiece. The War Department approved Arthur's suggested 
modification of the training mask, and supplies were furnished to make 
theater modifications. The CWS tried again with an assault mask with 
cheek-mounted canister, but no significant number of these masks 
became available in the theater before the end of the war. In sum, 
this was again a problem that the SWPA CWS tried to overcome 
with various expedients but without a real solution, for it was unable 
to find a means of preventing mold, mildew, and corrosion. 40 

Protective Clothing 

As noted above, storage and issue of antigas protective clothing was 
a quartermaster responsibility, but the CWS was vitally involved in 
providing impregnation services and in prescribing the use and care of 
protective clothing. The SWPA chief quartermaster issued instruc- 
tions, in the name of the Commanding General, USASOS, on protective 
clothing in December 1942, in January 1943, and in March 1943. The 
last of these instructions repeated the then current War Department 
policy of providing as yet undesignated "double layer" protection 
based on the cotton herringbone twill "fatigue" uniform as "minimum" 
and with an additional impregnated woolen or cotton khaki uniform 
as "complete" protection. 41 

Patently, complete protection was beyond the SWPA capacity, and 
the instructions provided that only one set of outer garments plus 
accessories per individual should be issued or should be held in forward 
depots for issue to combat troops. Forward depots were also authorized 
to hold normal replacement quantities to be called forward when 
needed by operational organizations. The instructions also prescribed 
storage and maintenance procedures including provision for CWS 
inspection of clothing in storage. 42 

*° (1) Ltr, CmlO 41st Inf Div to CmlO I Corps, 16 Jun 43, sub: Rpc on Field Test of M4-10-6 
Gas Mask {41st Div 470.6), with 2d Ind, forwarded by Ltr, CCmlO USAFFE to CCVS, 9 Jul 43 , 
sub: Lightweight Service Masks, USAFFE FECW 470.72. (2) Ltr, CCmlO USASOS to CG Sixth 
Army, 22 Oct 43, sub: Wearing Tests on New Type Masks. Sixth Army AG 470.72 — Protective 

"Ltr, AG USASOS to CG's Sixth Army et al, 26 Mar 43, sub: Cml Warfare Protective Clothing. 
USASOS GSQMS 421 in Sixth Army 422.3 Protective Clothing. 
" Ibid, 



USASOS elaborated the storage, requisition, and issue procedures 
for protective clothing in May 1943. At the end of the month, the 
commanding officer of the subbase at Oro Bay, which had officially 
opened late in April, informed the Commanding General, 41st Infantry 
Division, that 70 percent of the base protective clothing stock, most 
of which was held for the division, was unserviceable. 43 The unserv- 
iceable clothing had rotted or the fabric had lost its tensile strength. 
Much of the unserviceable clothing was that dyed jungle green on 
which chemical service units in Australia had expended so much effort. 
Since CWS officers had made the serviceability tests, the CWS SWPA 
was aware of the problem. In a little more than a week after the first 
notification, Copthorne asked Sixth Army to determine the extent of 
damage. Sixth Army replied that almost all clothing in loose storage 
or in the hands of individuals had deteriorated. Clothing received from 
the United States and stored in its original waterproof bales and pack- 
ages off the ground and under cover had not deteriorated. Similarly, 
those sets of clothing in the hands of individual soldiers which had been 
stored, as prescribed, in the bottoms of barracks bags hung so that air 
would circulate under the bag had not deteriorated. Since all troops 
did not have the opportunity to hang barracks bags in positions where 
air would circulate, Sixth Army ordered protective clothing withdrawn 
from individuals for storage in unit supply, but storage conditions in 
unit supply were far from ideal. The best that unit storage could 
accomplish was slightly to prolong garment life and, perhaps more 
importantly, to make garments available for regular serviceability 
inspection. 44 

CWS officers soon learned that the effective life of protective clothing 
was likely to be six months and that the best which could be expected 
was a year. 45 Colonel Smith, then chief of the USASOS Chemical 
Section and later Copthorne's deputy, undertook the direct supervision 
of protective clothing distribution plans and liaison with quartermaster 

Ltr, CO Advance Subbase B to CG 41st Div, 30 May 43, sub: Impregnated Clothing. USAFFE 
Advance Subbase B 422 in Sixth Army 422.3 Protective Clothing. 

** (1) Ltr, CCmlO USAFFE to CG Sixth Army, 9 Jun 43, sub: Impregnated Clothing. USAFFE 
FECW 420, cited in Ltr, CG Sixth Army to CG USAFFE, 29 Jun 43, sub: Impregnated Clothing. 
Sixth Army AG 420W in Sixth Army 422.3 Protective Clothing. (2) Ltr, CmlO 41st Div to CG 41st 
Div, 22 Jun 43, sub: Inspection of Impregnated Clothing. 41st Inf Div 470.6 in Sixth Army 422,3 
Protective Clothing. (3) Memo, CmlO Sixth Army CO Hq Co Sixth Army, 23 Jun 43, no sub. In 
Sixth Army 422.3 Protective Clothing. 

4B Also see Stauffer, Operations in the War Against Japan, p. 202. 



on the subject. In the circumstance, Smith had no choice but to 
provide protective clothing for forward area troops and to plan re- 
placing it every six months. Replacement was provided either from 
the United States or from stocks impregnated in SWPA. In order to 
carry on impregnation in the area, processing units were required. The 
105th Chemical Processing Company arrived in SWPA in June 1943 
just as the extent of the clothing problem was becoming known. Since 
the unit did not receive its own plants for another six months, it 
worked at processing in the improvised theater plant to rebuild the 
theater reserve. Copthorne and Smith sought to move the ioyth and 
the eighteen companies received in 1944 into forward areas so that 
impregnating facilities, both for building up clothing reserves and for 
reimpregnation in the event of gas warfare, could be close to the 
organizations with the greatest need, but obtaining USAFFE or GHQ 
authority and transportation for these forward moves was extremely 
difficult. 46 

The SWPA protective clothing reserve problem diminished during 
late 1944 and early 1945 as stocks were continuously reconstituted by 
shipments from the United States. Anticipated reserve demands were 
also reduced by the War Department directive of April 1944 which 
assigned protective clothing only to 50 percent of the area force. 
Clothing still deteriorated although better packaging and the use of 
the M2 water emulsion impregnating process somewhat lengthened 
the serviceability period. The CWS still sought to move processing 
units forward as reimpregnation insurance against a gas warfare emer- 
gency, and the units, even in forward areas, were diverted to secondary 
missions which would permit readiness to operate in such emergency. 47 

In the last year of the war, most of the area protective clothing re- 
serve was stored in the Hollandia, New Guinea, base while organizational 
allowances were carried in unit supply when commanders would permit, 
or in forward bases when they would not. The forward bases also 
stored organizational maintenance stocks. As the fighting progressed 
farther and farther from Hollandia transportation for resupply became 
more difficult to obtain, and, in event of gas warfare, the transportation 
situation might have been desperate. Chemical officers were confident, 
however, that had gas warfare been initiated there would have been 
sufficient air transportation available in the interim before the process- 

"Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col Irving R. MoIIen, 28 Apr $3. 
47 Ibid. 



ing companies could move forward and commence operation. Certainly 
SWPA was adequately supplied with processing units. Because of the 
SWPA storage problems and the estimated threat of gas warfare in 
forward areas, SWPA had more units than any other theater. 48 

Defective Equipment and Spare Parts 

Some SWPA chemical supply problems were common to all theaters. 
For example, the power-driven decontaminating apparatus was widely 
used for water carrying and giving showers, but the parts supply, as 
elsewhere, was critical. No spare parts of any description arrived in 
the theater before Colonel Morgan returned to the United States after 
the middle of 1943. Even when parts did begin to arrive, there were 
few for the large apparatus. Some vehicles were cannibalized to keep 
others in operation, but even this expedient failed because many parts 
were not interchangeable among the four different makes of apparatus 
and because the same type of parts wore out on all apparatus. CWS 
officers arranged with their Ordnance colleagues, late in the war, to 
replace worn-out decontamination motors with jeep motors, and this 
local adaptation permitted some apparatus to be returned to service. 49 
Other munitions also failed because of faulty manufacturing, faulty 
inspection, or poor packaging in the United States. Examples are the 
early shipments of the M33 smoke tank, which air chemical units 
rebuilt, and of Mi 4 and M8 chemical hand grenades of which such a 
large percentage malfunctioned that Colonel Grothaus, the OCCWS 
observer, recommended the destruction of entire lots. 50 Another major 
problem which was at least aggravated by SWPA storage conditions 
was that concerning the 100-pound toxic bomb. 

Toxic Munitions 

As noted above, bombs were early stored in three toxic gas yards 
in Australia. Leakers were soon discovered among the thin-cased 
bombs, and sizable detachments from two service units were required 
to segregate the leakers, decontaminate the storage areas, and vent and 
paint nonleaking bombs. After a time it became evident that the 

48 ( 1 ) Molten Interv, 1 8 Apr j 3 • ( 2 ) F° f information on processing company assignments, see 
Brophy and Fisher, Organizing for Wor, |app. hi- 1 1 > | 

** (1) Morgan Interv, 1 Oct 45. (2) Grothaus-Brady Rpt. (3) Molten, Cml Warfare Sup — 
SWPA, World War II. 

"Grothaus-Brady Rpt. 



mustard filling of some bombs was itself deteriorating. Copthorne 
asked for replacement by distilled mustard, which was not so much 
subject to deterioration, but OCCWS replied that the production au- 
thorities in the United States could not afford the time and effort to 
distill mustard when the undistilled product proved satisfactory else- 
where. Concentrated SWPA CWS effort kept most of the bombs in 
serviceable condition. Copthorne was anxious, as the war progressed, 
to move the bombs closer to the scene of fighting. Finally, in 1944* 
transportation was secured to establish a considerable stock in New 
Guinea. When Copthorne's own section moved to Leyte, he again 
attempted to move the bombs forward, but transportation could not 
be obtained. Toward the end of hostilities, after a toxic gas yard had 
been established in the Philippines, another effort was made to move 
the stock forward, but a detailed inspection revealed that few bombs 
were then serviceable, and the Chemical Section, Western Pacific, ar- 
ranged for the disposal of bombs remaining in Australia and New 
Guinea. 51 

The deterioration of stocks did not mean that SWPA was without 
supplies for gas warfare retaliation. General MacArthur requested that 
stockage be maintained on the west coast pending the availability of 
shipping. Shipping would have been allotted at once in case of emer- 
gency. Also, bombs and other toxic munitions declared unserviceable 
were replaced so that minimum area reserves were maintained until 
near the end of the war. The area reserves, equal to four or five days' 
retaliation, were in any case inadequate since the plans made late in 
the war were based on the west coast stock. 52 

Chemical Warfare Tactical Supply, Southwest Pacific Area 

Tactical Supply Policy 

Just as many problems in chemical supply in SWPA arose from the 
difficulties imposed by climate, terrain, and distances, so was the 

E1 (i) Morgan Interv, i Oct 45. (2) Grothaus-Brady Rpc. (3) Personal Ltr, Waitt to Copthorne, 
13 Jan 4 (4) Ltr, CCmlO AFWESPAC to CWS, 2 Sep 4 y, sub: Destruction of M47A2 H-Filled 
Bombs, with 4 th Ind. AFWESPAC CSCW 470.6 (2 Sep 45) in CWS 314.7 Misc files, WESPAC, 
AFPAC, SPBC. (5) Baldwin, Bingham, and Pritchard, Readiness for Gas "Warfare in Theaters of 
Opns, pp. 474-75- (6) Mollen, History of Cml Warfare Sup — SWPA, World War IT. 

5J (1) Ltr, dNC GHQ SWPA to TAG, 19 Dec 43, sub: Revised Theater Plans for Gas Warfare. 
GHQ AG 381 (19 Dec 43) APO 500 in OPD 385 CWP sec. II-B. (2) Baldwin, Bingham, and 
Pritchard, Readiness for Gas "Warfare in Theaters of Opns, pp. 4*7-75. (3) Mollen, History of Cml 
Warfare Sup— SWPA, World War II. 



organization for supply dictated by these conditions. Other factors, 
such as War Department priority, perpetual shortage of manpower, 
and the nature of the SWPA organization also played a part. In theory 
SWPA supply operated just as it did in other theaters. SWPA was first 
concerned with insuring TBA and tables of organization and equip- 
ment allowances for all its organizations and units. It was secondly 
interested in establishing regular maintenance quotas, usually 30 days' 
supply, which moved forward with combat units, or were held in rear 
area depots or unit supply for rear area units. A third task was estab- 
lishing theater reserves set at 60, 90, 150, or 180 days' supply by the 
War Department (OPD), as calculated against the War Department 
approved troop basis. All this was the normal business of supply which 
was handled and computed in just about the same way by SWPA 
personnel, by the office of the chief of the War Department technical 
service, and by the responsible port of embarkation. 

In the CWS SWPA, as mentioned above, once the initial problems 
of determining area strength and authorizations and initial supply 
status of units and organizations had been solved, "normal" supply 
became a matter of forwarding requisitions for shortages in initial 
equipment, maintenance, and area reserves. The complication here 
became one of knowing what to ask for since poor communication 
frequently left SWPA chemical officers in the dark as to what was 
available, or what changes had been made in equipment and allowances, 
or what new items had been added to the system. Part of this burden 
was removed by the port of embarkation which automatically filled 
shortages disclosed by the theater's materiel status reports, but this 
and other automatic supply created problems in unwanted equipment 
such as gasproof curtains, and 20,000 horse gas masks in a virtually 
horseless area. 53 Materiel status report supply also frequently arrived 
in the theater so many months after the report went forward that the 
conditions cited and basis for stockage no longer existed. 54 But these 
"normal" supply problems existed in every theater and were only 
more difficult in degree in SWPA because of serious shortages and 
failures of communications. Much more difficult were the special 
requisitions problems. 

Again in the special requisitions area, the theaters operated on the 
same basis. All theater chemical officers submitted special requisitions 

68 Grothaus-Brady Rpc, 
94 \biL 



to build up gas warfare preparedness, and in all theaters special requi- 
sitions or special projects originating with combat organizations were 
the very basis of tactical supply. In the North African-Mediterranean 
theater special requisitions sometimes brought wanted tactical require- 
ments, but when special requisitions failed, organization chemical offi- 
cers like Colonel Barker, with the help of service chemical officers like 
Colonel Coblentz, improvised their own requirements and handled 
them through their own channels. In the European theater special 
requisitions seldom brought the items the theater wanted from the 
United States, but General Rowan and his staff controlled chemical 
supply through an individual system that had matured for two years 
before it was put to the test of combat. Rowan and his staff could call 
upon the comparatively abundant resources of the European build-up 
and of the British allies. The chemical special operational projects in 
Europe were evolved in close co-ordination between combat and service 
elements, and the bulk of supply came from theater stocks managed 
in the theater by the service elements. For example, base section chem- 
ical officers could come in for weekly conferences with their theater 
chief, and, on the Continent, service elements, such as Colonel Stubbs's 
ADSEC Chemical Section, were in daily contact with the combat 
organizations. Transportation and communication in Europe were 
overburdened, but the distances were shorter and the road and other 
facilities vastly superior to those of the Pacific. The differences in 
degree in SWT A were so great as to be almost differences in kind. 

When Sixth Army became the major SWPA American ground ele- 
ment, on a level co-ordinate with USASOS, in February 1943, it 
assumed responsibility for tactical supply. Colonel C. L. Marriott, 
Sixth Army chemical officer, arrived in Australia with the second 
echelon of the army in April but remained only a short time before 
moving forward to Milne Bay with Alamo Force, a task force 
created in June 1943 from Sixth Army troops, and in fact a forward 
echelon of the army. Marriott's office was thus separated by 1,200 
air miles from Copthorne's. Marriott's assistant, Major McKinney, 
remained in the Sixth Army headquarters. The only expeditious means 
of communication was by radio, but with such heavy demands on the 
radio net, normal communication was by letter or informal memo. 55 

M (1) Mary H. Williams, Chronology 1941-194}, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 
(Washington, i960), pp. 93 , 114. ( 2 ) General Walter Krueger, From Down Under to Nippon 
(Washington: Combat Forces Press, 195}), pp. 6-10, and app. 1. 



Responsibility for CWS operational supply projects rested with Mar- 
riott. Since he had very little assistance and since, after the move to 
Alamo Force at Milne Bay, even his own section was divided, most of 
the supply policy load fell directly upon his own shoulders. But even this 
was not difficulty enough in the difficult Pacific area. He lacked the 
logistic information and means of transportation, and his ability to 
improvise locally was practically nil, since there was no available civilian 
source of transportation and no substitute line of communication to 
Allied forces such as many field chemical officers had. New Guinea 
had no motor roads, no industry, and only a little unskilled manpower. 
Air transportation carried very high priority and water transportation 
was at a premium. Until 15 November 1943, he could deal with the 
Chemical Officer, Advance Section, USASOS, at Port Moresby. From 
15 November until 31 March 1944 he dealt with chemical officers of 
Advance Section at Lae and Intermediate Section at Port Moresby. 
But miles of water or air lay between the USASOS sections and his 
office in Alamo Force headquarters, which was at Milne Bay until 
October, at Goodenough Island until December, and near Finschhafen 
until May I944. 56 

Requirements and Transportation 

Marriott spent much of his time in 1943 simply in determining how 
SWPA interpreted chemical supply, what channels existed, how much 
subordinate elements wanted, and where to store the immediate supply 
demands of organizations. In June 1943 USASOS provided that requi- 
sitions for TBA equipment should be submitted to base section chemical 
officers who could fill them without further reference. Requisitions 
for supplies in excess of TBA had to be approved by Marriott and for- 
warded to USASOS. The availability of non-TBA items in USASOS 
depended upon the ability of the USASOS Chemical Section supply 
officers to predict unusual issues and to persuade the United States 
authorities to ship them. Transportation could be obtained either by 
theater allotment of space, which was controlled in GHQ, or by San 
Francisco Port of Embarkation allotment. USASOS sometimes issued 
credits for controlled (non-TBA or scarce) items to Sixth Army for 
Marriott's suballotment, but each issue against credit had to be approved 

""(0 Krueger, From Down Under to Nippon, pp. 12-15. ( 2 ) Mollen, History of Cml Warfare 
Sup— SWPA, World War II. 



by USASOS through the issuing base. 57 Unusual issues of TBA, such 
as for the ist Marine Division which arrived from South Pacific area 
fighting minus much of its equipment, were approved through 
USAFFE, Sixth Army's administrative (not operational) command 
channel, to USASOS. 58 

Sixth Army forwarded operational projects to GHQ SWT A and 
in the course of preparing such a project in June, Marriott, bypassing 
technical channels, pointed out to the supreme command that confusion 
existed as to the meaning of the term CWS supplies.™ He indicated 
that the prohibition against the use of toxics led some staff officers to 
believe that smoke and incendiary shells and grenades, chemical ammu- 
nition then issued by Ordnance, were also prohibited. The belief also 
existed that protective equipment and chemical ammunition were 
restricted to a 30 days' supply, and problems arose because some pro- 
tective equipment (such as protective clothing and covers) were issued 
by Quartermaster on a 90 days' supply basis while other equipment 
(gas mask, protective ointment, and shoe impregnite) were issued by 
CWS, apparently on a 30 days' basis. USAFFE, where Copthorne's 
office was then located, replied without reference to GHQ that the 
Ordnance-issued items were to be used since they were not toxics. 
The theater administrative headquarters also indicated that tactical 
planning should encompass TBA plus 30 days' maintenance and 30 
days' reserve for Classes II and IV. For ammunition supply USAFFE 
prescribed basic units of fire for initial issue and provided that mainte- 
nance and reserves be calculated in days of supply. 60 Reserves were 
parceled out among intermediate bases by the combat organizations. 
The headquarters regretted confusion resulting from the issue of pro- 
tective equipment by two services and indicated that action had been 
initiated to make all protective equipment the responsibility of one 
service. 61 

With the possible exception of information on specific day of 

"Ltr, CmlO USASOS to Base Sec and Subbase CmlO's, 6 Jun 43, sub: Requisition Channels for CVS 

Sups. USASOS GSCW 400.312 in Sixth Army 400 Sups (General). 

M Ltr, CG Sixth Army to CG USASOS through CG USAFFE, 18 Jun 43, sub: Cml Warfare Equip 

for ist Marine Div (Sixth Army AG 400W), with ist Ind, CG USAFFE to CG USASOS, 27 Jun 43 

(USAFFE FECW 470.6), and 2d Ind CG USASOS through CG USAFFE to CG Sixth Army, n.d. 

(USASOS GSCW 457/29). All in Sixth Army 400 Sups (General). 

w Ltr, CG Sixth Army to CG SWPA through CG USAFFE. 

M For definitions of days of supply, units of fire, and classes of supply, see above, IChapter IHJ 

fll ist Ind, CG USAFFE to CG Sixth Army, 27 Jun 43, on basic Ltr above. USAFFE FECW 475 in 

Sixth Army 400 Sups (General). 



supply and unit of fire allowances, Marriott certainly learned nothing 
he did not already know. His letter was undoubtedly prompted by a 
desire to "get something on paper" which would establish an operational 
planning base and at the same time set headquarters thinking about the 
assignment of responsibilities. The responsibility for protective items, 
despite the USAFFE assurance, remained divided between CWS and 
Quartermaster, but the SWPA responsibility for storage and issue of 
chemical grenades was transferred from Ordnance to CWS in Sep- 
tember. Chemical and incendiary bombs remained an Ordnance re- 
sponsibility, but the CWS was newly charged with inspection and 
servicing of the munitions. 62 If Marriott had indeed sought a transfer 
of responsibility for all chemical items to CWS supply authority, he 
learned, as the following events demonstrated, to regret it, because he 
found that the CWS had acquired so much responsibility as to make 
handling the forward supply job a huge burden. 

Supply Procedures and Their Application 

Just two days before the transfer of responsibility from Ordnance 
to CWS, Alamo Force prescribed supply procedures for combat troops. 
Each special staff section was assigned to prepare requirements and to 
oversee and record distribution of the items in its province. The 
USASOS requisition procedure was followed in that units would 
requisition directly on base commanders while approval channels were 
through the army staff section. 63 Marriott was launched into a hectic 
period of dealing with loading and unloading, storage, maintenance, 
and combat replacement of the small quantities of the comparatively 
few chemical items which were so easily misplaced, misappropriated, 
and misspent among the vast quantities of material moving over the 
vast distances of the Pacific. 

Probably as much at Marriott's behest as for his own use, Copthorne 
attempted, also in September 1943, to obtain the latest logistics tables, 
TBA's, and TOE's from the CCWS. 64 This information was not imme- 

ra Ltr, CG USAFFE to CG's Sixth Army, Fifth Air Force, and USASOS, 8 Sep 43, sub: Allocation of 
Ordnance and Cml Warfare Functions (USAFFE ECW 321.011), with 1st Ind, CG Sixth Army to 
Distr, 22 Sep 43 (Sixth Army AG 322-W), in Sixth Army 400 Sups (General). 

63 CG Alamo Force to Distr, 6 Sep 43, sub: SOP for the Sup and Resup of Outlying Forces. Sixth 
Army 400.3 1 r — Req-Proc and Sup. 

R4 Ltr, CCmlO USAFFE to CCWS, 25 Sep 43, sub: Logistic Planning Tables, CWS. USAFFE FECW 



diately forthcoming, but McKinney did get USAFFE unit of fire data 
which he sent to Marriott and subordinate chemical officers on 4 Oc- 
tober, and Marriott promptly issued an Alamo Force version. 85 But 
he still lacked information on grenades. A month later he wrote to 
McKinney that it was embarrassing not to know the particulars on 
these items for which he was responsible. Declaring that someone must 
have the information, he briefly ordered, "Shell out." 88 

Preparations for the forthcoming Arawe-Cape Gloucester-Saidor 
offensive were more important than obtaining a set of logistical data. 
Organizations were about to move out from Australia. McKinney, at 
a conference in Copthorne's office (Copthorne had now returned from 
USAFFE to USASOS) apparently charged that not enough was being 
done for the combat forces. He particularly urged that division chem- 
ical officers be given advance information on their supply status. 87 
Copthorne's men, who were older hands at fighting the battle of Pacific 
transportation, must have appeared un-co-operative since there was 
little they could do that had not already been done. USASOS ele- 
ments had only limited ability to provide transportation and no official 
power to assess tactical supply preparations. Movement and allotment 
priorities must come from Sixth Army, and, since supply was strictly 
interpreted as a command function in SWPA, only Sixth Army could 
furnish supply status data to combat organizations. Furthermore, 
USASOS chemical officers never knew when materiel would move. It 
was their legitimate practice to ship maintenance with outgoing units 
so that it might be withdrawn to stock forward bases. There it would 
be available to supply the same units or others in critical need. The 
point was that conditions of movement and storage in SWPA were so 
poor that the area command could not afford to permit combat organi- 
zations to attempt to carry along all their supplies into an assault. 
The only result would be wastage, and wastage as high as 90 percent 
of protective items had already been experienced in assaults. 88 

Sixth Army was not long in seeing the point. On 12 October 1943, 
Marriott notified the Chemical Officer, Advanced Echelon, USASOS, 

* (1) Ltr, ACmlO Sixth Army to CmlO Alamo Force et id., 4 Oct 43, sub: Cml Warfare Unit of 
Fire Table. Sixth Army 400.314 Estimated Rqmts. (2) Memo, CmlO Alamo Force, 13 Oct 43, sub: 
Approved Unit of Fire Table for Cml Warfare Ammunition. OCmlO Sixth Army — Memos from 
Forward Echelon. 

"Memo, Marriott for McKinney, 14 Nov 43. Sixth Army AG 300.6 Misc Memos. 
67 Memo, McKinney for Marriott, 3 Oct 43. Sixth Army AG 300.6 Misc Memos. 

* (1) Mollen, Cml Warfare Sup— SWPA, World War II. (2) Grothaus-Brady Rpt. 



of his intended distribution of Sixth Army ammunition supplies among 
the New Guinea subbases, and he indicated the initial issues that would 
be required from each base. 80 McKinney 's principal task then became 
getting the transportation that USASOS could not get. Base section 
chemical officers had become adept at locating and using any nook or 
cranny not spoken for in any kind of shipping headed for New Guinea, 
but supply of the scope required by Sixth Army called for more space 
than they could find. McKinney appealed to the Regulating Officer, 
GHQ, who was in charge of all SWT A transportation allottments, and 
also appealed to Sixth Army general staff members to assist in obtaining 
priorities for chemical items. 70 

Procedures Questioned 

Marriott was naturally concerned about having McKinney do a trans- 
portation job which he felt should be done automatically in connection 
with operational planning. He further objected to being separated 
from his own section by 1,200 miles and to doing business with the 
USASOS main echelon from the same distance. Copthorne made a 
tour of New Guinea bases at this time and talked these points over 
with Marriott. Copthorne agreed that Marriott should deal with the 
chemical element of Intermediate Section at once and with that of 
Advanced Section as soon as that section was set up to handle his 
requests. Copthorne emphasized, both while in New Guinea and in a 
letter upon his return, that under the circumstances planning must 
come from Marriott and that only Marriott was in a position to clear 
information to the combat elements on the one hand and to the 
USASOS base elements on the other. He forcefully pointed out that 
the base elements could be prepared to meet demands upon them only 
if they knew the complete supply plan — how much material had been 
issued, how much was to be issued and maintained, and who was au- 
thorized to receive supplies. During his trip Copthorne discovered 
that one base chemical officer had reissued ammunition TBA to a 
division since he did not know that the division had already received it. 
Another division refused to relinquish an overage of flame thrower fuel 

w Ltr, CmlO Alamo Force to CmlO Adv Echelon USASOS, 12 Oct 43, sub: Stockage of CWS Class 
V Items. Sixth Army 475 Weapons for Jungle Warfare. 

70 (1) Mollen, Cml Warfare Sup— SWPA, World War II. (2) Memo, Cml Sec for ACofS G-4 
through ACofS G-3 Sixth Army, 12 Nov 43, no sub, Sixth Army 400 Sups (General). (3) Memo, 
McKinney for Marriott, 14 Nov 43. Sixth Army AG 300.6 Misc Memos. 



because it feared future unavailability. At least part of this fear was 
justified, but if every organization was not supplied on the same basis, 
the supply system would soon fail. Copthorne had neither the authority 
nor the channels to correct these situations. Marriott chided Copthorne 
for ordering base chemical officers to suspend issue in some cases, but 
Copthorne could do no less in trying to prevent misapportionment of 
resources. 71 

Except for the instances of maladjustment in issue and lack of 
knowledge by the base chemical officers of specific resupply require- 
ments for ammunition, the base supply status met minimum require- 
ments (30 days' for Sixth Army's 180,000 strength) at the time of 
Copthorne 's visit. The only items deficient were the 1% -quart decon- 
taminating apparatus (19.9 days) and the Mi 5 white phosphorus gre- 
nade, of which there were none. 72 The WP grenade deficiency was 
not a local failure; there were no stocks in any theater. When WP 
grenades did become available SWPA got them first, and a supply of 
these was in the forward bases by 1 5 December. 73 The Oro Bay base 
was below 30 days' Class II supply in October and just above 30 days 
in November, but, presumably at Marriott's direction, the Port 
Moresby base compensated with 67 days in October and 76 days in 
November. 74 The only supply complaint noted in the period was one 
from the 24th Infantry Division pointing out a shortage of SWPA- 
modified training masks, but again this was not a local failure. The 
10th Chemical Maintenance Company was awaiting the arrival of new 
canisters from the United States in order to begin waterproofing. 75 
During the combat operations a shortage of hydrogen cylinders for 
flame throwers developed, but this too was a problem which was not 
solved locally for some time since there was no regular channel of 
supply for commercial gases. 76 

" (i) Memo, Marriott for McKinney, 27 Oct 43, no sub. OCmlO Sixth Army Memos from For- 
ward Echelon. (2) Memo, Marriott for McKinney, 1 Nov 43, no sub. (3) Personal Ltr, Copthorne 
to Marriott, 13 Nov 43. (4) Memo, Marriott for McKinney, 21 Nov 43, no sub. All in Sixth Army 
AG 300.6 Misc Memos. 

"Memo, CmlO Intermediate Sec USASOS, for G-4 Intermediate Sec, 24 Nov 43. USASOS Inter- 
mediate Sec 400.314 in Sixth Army 400.314 Estimated Rqmts. 

75 Memo, ACmlO Intermediate Sec USASOS for G— 4 Intermediate Sec USASOS, 17 Dec 43, no sub. 
Intermediate Sec 400.314 in Sixth Army 400.314 Estimated Rqmts. 

74 Ibid. 

75 Ltr, CmlO Sixth Army to CmlO 24th Div, 23 Nov 43, sub: Training Masks, Waterproofed for 
24th Infantry Div. Sixth Army Cml Warfare 470.72 in Sixth Army 470,72, Gas Masks No. 4. 

"Memo, ACmlO Intermediate Sec USASOS for G-4 Intermediate Sec USASOS, 17 Dec 43, no sub. 
Intermediate Sec 400.314 in Sixth Army 400.314 Estimated Rqmts. 



Tactical Procedures Set 

By the end of the first week in December there was little more that 
Marriott and McKinney could do. Fighting in the Pacific was savage 
and intense but usually brief, so that once forces were committed in a 
campaign there was practically no hope of getting even resupply from 
distant bases or from the United States unless it was already on the way. 
Sixth Army Chemical Section planning turned to supplying training 
munitions for the next break in combat, and support of the combat 
forces consisted of juggling supplies at the forward bases to permit 
maximum availability. 77 

Marriott took the occasion to write to chemical officers at subordinate 
echelons asking that statements of requirements for future operations 
come early and in full detail. The only way to avoid the last-minute 
hustle which had just been experienced was to plan far enough ahead 
so that CWS claims on shipping and storage could be entered months 
in advance. Marriott realized that the supply element of Copthorne's 
office should not be placed in the position of having to outguess the 
combat elements in order to place requisitions on the United States 
in time to receive any material. 78 

As new campaigns began in early 1944, it became obvious that it 
was no longer possible to start from scratch. In order to keep supplies 
moving, the Sixth Army Chemical Section had to know what had been 
expended and what was on hand. Marriott and McKinney experienced 
considerable difficulty in obtaining expenditure and status reports from 
task forces in widely scattered locations. This failure was particularly 
frustrating since, at the expense of much effort, they had secured 
service detachments or at least junior officers to accompany those task 
forces without chemical sections. The primary duty of these detach- 
ments was flame thrower service, but the officers were also charged 

77 (1) Memo, Cml Sec Alamo Force for CmlO Advance Base A, 7 Dec 43, no sub. Sixth Army 
300.6 Memos (Alamo Supply Point No. 1). (2) Ltr, CmlO Alamo Force to CmlO Advance Base B, 
1 Dec 43, sub: Routing of Requisitions. Sixth Army 400.311 Requisitions. (3) Ltr, CmlO Alamo 
Force to CWSO Backhander Task Force, 2 Dec 43, sub: Routing of Requisitions. Sixth Army 
400.311 Requisitions. (4) Memo, Marriott for Riegelman, CmlO I Corps, 13 Dec 43, no sub. Sixth 
Army AG 300.6 Memos — I Corps. (5) Ltr, CCmlO USASOS to CmlO ADSOS, 30 Dec 43, sub: Ship- 
ment of Sups by Alamo Force. Sixth Army AG 300.6" Memos — ADSOS. 

78 (1) Memo, Marriott for Lt Col K, W. Haas, CmlO 1st Cavalry Div, 30 Nov 43. (2) Memo, 
Marriott for Riegelman, 30 Nov 43. Both in Sixth Army AG 300.6 Memos. 



with handling supply. It was finally necessary to secure a command 
letter to get some of the reports. 70 

By the end of February 1944 Marriott was thoroughly disgusted 
with the detailed supply operation which had been the lot of the Sixth 
Army Chemical Section. He wrote to Copthorne that he had come to 
the conclusion that "we were sweeping water up hill." 80 Considering 
the small quantity of chemical supply, he believed that Ordnance would 
feel no additional strain on handling chemical ammunition, and he 
felt that Ordnance would not need a separate system as did the CWS. 
He wanted more time to devote to tactical policy and gas warfare 
protection and he felt he could get the time only by disposing of a 
part of his supply burden. 81 

There was some justice in Marriott's comments. The quantity of 
chemical supply was very small, but perhaps precisely for that reason, 
chemical materials tended to be lost when handled by another service. 
But Marriott was not to be relieved of his supply burden; if anything, 
it increased. USASOS did offer some help. The Distribution Division, 
USASOS, had been created in January specifically to handle Sixth 
Army's most vexing problems — transportation and distribution policy. 
The veteran CWS supply manager, Maj. Arthur H. Williams, Jr., 
moved into the position of Chemical Officer, Distribution Division. 
The Distribution Division operated as a field element of USASOS and 
it moved forward ahead of the main echelons. 82 The USASOS com- 
mander, Maj. Gen. John L. Frink, also redefined the duties of USASOS 
Advance and Intermediate Sections. Effective 1 March 1944, Advance 
Section became a transportation and handling agency and Intermediate 
Section took over the command of all forward bases and the supervision 
of supply policy. 83 Since the Distribution Division soon moved into 
Intermediate Section, the Sixth Army Chemical Section at last had 

^(i) Ltr, ACmlO Alamo Force to CmlO US Forces APO 321, 21 Jan 44, sub: CWS Resup 
Michaelmas. Sixth Army 471.6 Grenades. (2) Memo, McKinney for CmlO Alamo Base 2, 21 Jan 
44, no sub. Sixth Army 400 Sup. (3) Ltr, ACmlO Alamo Force to CCmlO USASOS, 25 Jan 44, 
sub: Ammunition Status Rpts. Sixth Army 471 Ammunition. (4) Memo, Col Marriott for Col R. N. 
Gay, CmlO ADSOS, 31 Jan 44, sub: CWS Units. Sixth Army AG 300.6 Memos. {5) Ltr, CG 
Alamo Force to CG Dir Task Force, 2 Feb 44, sub: Cml Ammunition Rpts. Sixth AG 47 iW in Sixth 
Army 470.71 Ammunition. 

"Personal Ltr, Marriott to Copthorne, 26 Feb 44. Sixth Army 472.4 — 4.2 inch Cml Mortar. 

81 Ibid. 

"History of Distr Div USASOS. OCMH MS. 

"Ltr, CG USASOS to CG's ADSOS and Intermediate Sec, 25 Feb 44, sub: Functions and Responsi- 
bilities of ADSOS and Intermediate Sec. Sixth Army 323.31 Development of Bases. 



USASOS officers with considerable resources close at hand. Still, the 
Sixth Army Chemical Section devoted much of its time to supply and 

Marriott issued a new unit of fire table on i March because he was 
still responsible for tactical requirements and planning. 84 Also, now 
that some support problems were handled by USASOS, the forward 
area problems increased. The inexperienced, young junior officers with 
the task forces lacked the knowledge to handle supply, and Marriott's 
office was frequently called upon to give detailed instructions at the 
regimental combat team level. In many cases Marriott sent out the 
officers of his own section to inspect or to clear up a field supply 
problem. 85 

The introduction of chemical mortar battalions to the Pacific and 
the increased use of the flame thrower also added to supply duties. 
Every task force chemical section whether of divisional size or smaller 
was now more than ever engaged in combat loading and unloading, in 
collecting supplies on beachheads, and in furnishing support, such as 
flame thrower fuel mixing, in forward areas. These elements all re- 
ported expenditures and special requirements and problems. In each 
case the Sixth Army Chemical Section had a function of planning, 
reviewing, or directing operations. 86 

By the middle of 1944 replacement factors had been increased, supply 
was more plentiful, and items received were in better shape. The first 
block-loaded ships were then being prepared in San Francisco, and the 
Sixth Army Chemical Section took advantage of this means to resupply 
ammunition. Block-loaded ships were those vessels with loads specially 
designed to support a task force with a balanced variety of supplies. 
The materiel was loaded so that discharge could be effected easily and 
expeditiously, and loads were so marked that accounting and reporting 
problems were greatly reduced. Each block-loaded ship came into a 
USASOS base and waited there to be called forward for the support 

84 Ltr, CG Sixth Army to Distr, i Mar 44, sub: Unit of Fire Table for Cml Warfare Ammunition. 
Sixth Army AG 47 iW. 

86 (1) Memo, SupO Sixth Army Cml Sec for CmlO Alamo Force, 24 Mar 44, no sub. (2) Memo, 
CmlO Alamo Sup Point No. 1 for CmlO Alamo Force. (3) Memo, Marriott for Riegelman, 11 Apr 
44. (4) Memo, CmlO Alamo Sup Point No. 1 for CmlO Alamo Force, 3 May 44. All in Sixth 
Army AG 300.6 Memos. (5) Ltr, CmlO Alamo Force to CO Det 93d Cml Composite Co, 8 Mar 44, 
sub: Maintenance Factors. Sixth Army 470.72 Protective Equip. 

M (i) CmlO 41st Inf Div, n.d., Rpt, Cml Phase and Sec Hist Red of Horlicks [Biak] Opn. 
Sixth Army 350.05 Biak. 



of an appropriate task force. The block-loaded procedure facilitated 
supply on Leyte. 87 

Colonel Marriott was invalided home in July 1944, so that he did 
not see the effect of the block-loaded ships upon his supply operation. 
By the time of his departure the pattern of supply was well set, and 
although there were problems, such as the inability of USASOS to 
move bases forward fast enough when combat reached the southern 
Philippines and a critical supply shortage late in 1944, there was no 
essential change in the chemical tactical supply operation until the end 
of the war. 88 

Chemical officers in the Southwest Pacific faced the most difficult 
supply task experienced by the CWS during World War II. The hard- 
ships faced by chemical officers in other theaters — lack of supply infor- 
mation, immensely complicated requirements, requisitioning, and re- 
view systems, shortage of critical items, and the early poor condition 
of equipment — were all compounded by distance, tropical conditions, 
and lack of channels and facilities in SWPA. As a result SWPA chem- 
ical officers developed a series of expedients which were at times unusual 
and often ingenious. By employing these expedients they did build up 
area reserves and they did provide the combat forces with both materiel 
and service. It does seem possible in retrospect that their task, which 
was never an easy one because of the unpredictable and almost over- 
whelming difficulties of tropical warfare, might have been somewhat 
more simply and more expeditiously handled had logistical planning 
received more emphasis both in the theater and in the War Department. 

The Theater Supply System, Central Pacific 
Supply in the Emergency Period 

The CWS Hawaiian Department in December 1941 stocked more 
chemical items than any other overseas element of the Army. 89 Major 

67 (1) Memo, Cm] Sec Sixth Army for Mollen, 30 Jun 44, no sub. In Sixth Army 400 Supplies. 
(2) Mollen, Cml Warfare Sup — SWPA, World War II. 

88 (1) Mollen, Cml Warfare Sup — SWPA, World War II. (2) Ltr, CmlO Base K to Distr, 4 Dec 
44, sub: Critical Items CWS Class II and IV. Base K KCWS 400,301 in Sixth Army 401. 1 Critical 
Items. (3) Ltr, CmlO Base K to CmlO Subbase K and Cml SupO Base K, 5 Dec 44, sub: Issue of Cml 
Warfare Equip and Sups. Sixth Army 400 Supplies, 

^Unless otherwise noted, this and the following sections are based on the History of the CWS in the 
Middle Pacific. 



McMillin, Chemical Officer, Hawaiian Chemical Depot, was prepared 
to issue 60,000 service gas masks when, less than an hour after the 
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor began, Colonel Unmacht, department 
chemical officer, ordered distribution. The departmental CWS also 
stocked about 90 tons of bleach, 110 tons of chemicals for impregnating 
permeable protective clothing, and nearly 25,000 gallons of noncorro- 
sive decontaminating agent. Several thousand hand decontaminating 
apparatus and a completely inadequate supply of personal protective 
ointment completed the defensive stock. 00 

The CWS stored some ammunition, smoke agents, and toxic agents, 
about eleven tons of FS smoke, 3,000 HC smoke pots, and nearly 500 
tons of bulk toxics almost evenly divided between persistent and non- 
persistent gases. The departmental ordnance officers stored some toxic 
and smoke-filled ammunition. The departmental CWS carefully 
hoarded 32 4. 2 -inch chemical mortars, aware that the whole Army 
had only 44. 91 

Since Unmacht's first responsibility was to insure gas warfare pro- 
tection and a defensive potential for troops, as noted above, he at 
once directed that impregnating and bleach production operations start, 
and he also set out to procure cans to be filled as chemical land mines. 
On 10 December 1941 he cabled the Chief, CWS, for funds to procure 
materials and to operate and to convert plants. The theater CWS 
assumed that the War Department would immediately ship TBA 
equipment for the known troop strength in the Hawaiian Department, 
but in case such material should not be en route, Unmacht on 17 De- 
cember cabled for 60,000 suits of protective clothing, 25 tons of im- 
pregnite, nearly 200,000 tubes each of shoe impregnite and protective 
ointment, and training masks, dust respirators, gasproof curtains, and 
chemical mortar shell. The request was amended on the following day 
to include more mortar shell, bleach, children's masks, and respirators 
for babies. 

By the end of December most of the protective equipment on hand, 
including all but about 5,000 service masks and 5,000 training masks, 
had been issued to troops, and issues to civilians began. The War 
Department emergency shipments including training masks for civil- 
ians began to arrive in January. Within ten days 1 5,673 masks had been 

m Weekly Rpt for the CofS, CWS Munitions on Hand as of 12 Dec 41, OC CWS, dated 20 Dec 41. 
CWS 3 19. 1/2249. 
91 Ibid. 



issued to civilians, and by i March 1942 393,680 of the eventual 
425,699 had been distributed. Local workers added nearly 38,000 
"bunny" hoods, substitutes for nonavailable children's masks, to the 

Chemical Supply Reserve 

The first department report on supply status to the War Depart- 
ment G-4 in October 1942 revealed no serious supply problem except 
the lack of service personnel. The depot was severely handicapped in 
the operation of 3 subdepots on Oahu, 3 in outlying islands, and 5 
production plants. In Unmacht's opinion the one chemical depot com- 
pany activated in the theater in March and the one decontamination 
company which arrived in June were already overburdened. Theater 
stock was not up to the prescribed 7 5 -day reserve level, but the San 
Francisco port was keeping the theater informed on the progress of 
requisitioned shipments, and automatic supply on less important items 
was steadily building toward the stockage goal. There is little sense of 
urgency in the report, probably because the department was enjoying 
a lull between the emergency period and the combat period. 

The March 1943 report does reflect a sense of urgency. Requisition- 
ing responsibility had been transferred from the depot to the depart- 
mental chemical office because supply planning for CENPAC combat 
forces was now in prospect. The failure to maintain authorized stock 
levels had become serious because large-scale issues of TBA equipment 
contemplated would deplete area reserves. The departmental CWS 
had run into the problem of requisitions edited in the United States, 
a problem which plagued all theater chemical officers. The port had 
supplied in the requested quantity only two items of a 19-item requisi- 
tion placed in November 1942; fourteen items were disapproved with- 
out statement of cause. Even more serious in the view of departmental 
chemical officers was the fact that training ammunition supplies were 
running out in a period of intensive training. 

The CWS in Hawaii could report no improvement in June, but in 
September 1943 the theater reported that relief had been received. 
The War Department authorized for the Central Pacific Area a 60-day 
operating level in addition to the 7j-day reserve level, and the port 
authorized an additional "pipeline" factor. The "pipeline" factor al- 
lowed the Hawaiian Department to requisition additional supplies to 



maintain levels during order and shipping time. TBA issues for combat 
forces, of which the first was then mounting, could then be handled 
without difficulty. 

On i July 1944 the Chemical Office, Central Pacific Base Command 
(CPBC), assumed the logistics functions except for broad policy and 
long-range planning which remained the province of Unmacht's chem- 
ical office. This transfer placed stock level and TBA issue problems in 
CPBC hands. It also gave the Chemical Office, CPBC, supervision of 
the combat supply and resupply system which had been inaugurated 
for the earliest theater operation against the enemy in the Gilbert 
Islands in November 1943. 

Toxic Supply 

Another reserve problem was that of toxic supply. As the first gas 
warfare plan indicated, the 500 tons of toxic on hand at the time of 
the Pearl Harbor attack would have been sufficient, taking into account 
the retaliation then possible. As strength grew and weapons and air- 
craft became available, the CWS in CENPAC realized that 500 tons 
represented hardly a token amount for retaliation even under the 
assumption that retaliation would take place on one of the small 
Pacific islands. The CWS consequently persuaded Army and Army 
Air Forces commands to requisition toxics. Some were received and 
stored by Ordnance with CWS maintaining the responsibility for in- 
specting munitions in storage. Between July and November of 1944 
the peak stock of 498.5 short tons of bulk lewisite was on hand as well 
as the peak stockage of 1,126.5 tons of toxics that went into bombs. 
Other peak stockages for bulk mustard, artillery shell, and chemical 
mortar shell were attained in the first half of 1945. 

CWS officers judged the roo-pound mustard-filled bomb as the 
most important munition for retaliation. The peak stock on this item, 
attained in July 1944, was 1 5,244 bombs with 541.2 tons of toxic filling. 
This supply was token only. If, for example, this entire supply had 
been used on Iwo Jima, which had an area of seven and one-half square 
miles, it would only have contaminated a little more than half, or four 
and one-half square miles. 92 Considering the vapor effect of mustard 
and the fact that the entire island would not have been regarded as a 
target, the stock would have been sufficient for one contamination. In 

92 These computations were made using the standard World War II manuals. 



the opinion of most chemical officers one contamination would have 
been enough to end all enemy resistance on the island. The question 
of resupply for other objectives would then arise. According to 
Generals Porter and Waitt an actual initiation of gas warfare would 
have given the CWS sufficient priorities to effect resupply, by air if 
necessary, from the west coast. 63 

From the point of view of supply on hand the CWS in CENPAC 
was only prepared to make an initial gas warfare strike. But, since 
CENPAC had better lines of communication to the United States than 
most overseas areas, gas warfare could have been sustained. 

Chemical Warfare Tactical Supply, Central Pacific 
Tactical Supply Policy 

The essence of the combat supply and resupply lay in the nature of 
Central Pacific combat. The Joint Chiefs of Staff scheduled area forces 
to take a number of small and fiercely defended islands and atolls lying 
across the expanse of the Pacific. Early supply base development in 
most of these objectives was out of the question — they were too small 
and too far away from main bases, or even if they were large enough 
for base development the distance between them was so great that it 
was impossible to establish a string of forward bases in the SWPA 
pattern. Each ground and sea combat operation had to be complete 
in itself. The assigned combat force took the objective as rapidly as 
possible and withdrew leaving a small or, in the case of Marshalls and 
Marianas, a large garrison to clean up and prepare the objective for 
such use as could be made of it. Any resupply was destined for the 
garrison only. These island garrisons sometimes built large bases but 
they usually served the air forces rather than ground combat forces. 

The U.S. Army Forces in the Central Pacific formed seven provisional 
garrison battalions before a single objective was taken. Each supply 
plan was made on the assumption, which proved correct, that the 
ordinary requisition or allotment procedures used in other theaters 
would not work. All supply for the combat forces must be at sea 
before the forces arrived at their objective, and garrison force supply 
had to be in the area as soon as garrison forces could receive it. In this 

M (i) Porter Interv, 24 Aug 61. (2) Waitt Interv, 13 May 61. 



circumstance, supply could hardly be a function of the combat com- 
mand. Logistic plans for each operation were a joint product of 
combat, garrison force, and theater planners. Tight logistical control 
was essential. Consequently, supply plans were originated by the 
combat staffs working with the technical service staffs. These pre- 
liminary plans were approved and co-ordinated at general staff echelons 
and forwarded to the Commander in Chief, POA, for the strategic, 
tactical, and logistical last word. The tight control came from the 
management of transportation by the Commander in Chief, POA. 
Every inch of transport space had to be allocated by strict priorities 
since shipping was short, since all essentials had to be carried, and since 
an amphibious force operating at such distances from a base had to be 
of an easily manageable size. 

The first Test — The Gilberts Operation 

In the Gilberts operation assaulting troops carried full initial allow- 
ances plus 30 days' essential maintenance and five units of fire computed 
according to War Department replacement factors. 94 An additional 
30 days* maintenance accompanied garrison force troops. Then addi- 
tional shipments were set up to give the garrison forces a 30-day oper- 
ating level and a 60-day reserve by D-day plus 60 days. The CWS 
computations were involved because each of these levels had to be 
computed on the basis of troop strength expected to be at the objective 
when supplies arrived. Since strength would decline rapidly with the 
withdrawal of combat forces once the objective was taken, a descending 
schedule of strength was drawn up. 

All CWS supplies for the Gilberts operation were loaded in Hawaii. 
Shipments totaled 93 measurement tons (40 cubic feet per ton) , most 
of it for the Marine Corps assault forces. There were no serious CWS 
supply problems, but there were a number of lessons for the future. 
Assaulting forces wanted more flame throwers and more smoke in 
forthcoming operations although the CWS made a special allowance 
of smoke pots for the Gilberts. 

Assault troops on the Gilberts used the power driven and 3 -gallon 
decontaminating apparatus to spray sodium arsenite on the dead since 
it was impossible to provide mortuary services in the assault. The 

et For an account of the Gilberts operation, see: Philip A. Crowl and Edmund G. Love, Seizure of the 
Gilberts and Marshall*, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, i 9 yy). 



chemical aided in control of disease-bearing insects and the arresting 
of nauseous odors. 95 An extra allowance of the apparatus was indicated. 

The Gilberts operation also pointed up some handling problems. 
Combat troops found flame thrower fuel mixing and repair difficult, 
partly because 5 5 -gallon drums of fuel were too heavy to handle, and 
partly because repair parts could not be adequately distributed and 
used during tactical operations. The Navy and the marines requested 
the installation of racks on landing craft so that smoke pots could be 
carried in a ready position for immediate firing. The Army's 27th 
Division chemical officers indicated that chemical supplies were in- 
sufficiently waterproofed. 

Supply System Refinement 

The USAFICPA CWS took these problems from the Gilberts into 
account in planning the Marshall Islands invasion for January, Feb- 
ruary, and March of 1944. Flame fuel was provided in 5 -gallon cans. 
Waterproofing was improved and allowances for smoke and flame 
munitions and for the decontaminating apparatus were raised. Even 
the basic supply system underwent refinement. USAFICPA set up 
block loads to be shipped directly from the United States to the 
Marshalls. The CWS shared in the theater system revision by com- 
puting a block-load on the basis of 20 days' supply for 1,000 men. 
Since War Department factors were usually stated on a 30-day basis 
and were often not computed in a per-man requirement, CWS 
USAFICPA was forced to convert War Department figures into per- 
man-per-day requirements according to theater experience in order 
to determine the more convenient 20-day block. Chemical officers 
worked up shipment blocks which would provide 90 days' supply for 
the garrison forces on D-day plus 90 days in the Marshalls. 

In the actual Marshalls operation, the tactical commander held 
resupply offshore until he could determine that it could be landed 
without clogging the beaches. The only CWS supply problem arising 
in the Marshalls was that so many portable flame throwers were pro- 
vided that not all could be used. The allowance per division for subse- 
quent operations was cut from 192 to 141 weapons. The physical con- 
dition and handling of supplies otherwise met demands, demonstrating 
that the CWS had learned to operate its share of the theater supply 

**StaufFer, Operations in the War Against Japan, pp. 252-55. 



system. For example, the CWS supplied only end-item replacements 
to the combat echelons since it was apparent that spare parts could 
not be handled and used until the garrison forces were set up. Water- 
proofed packaging and palletized loads assembled by the Hawaiian 
Chemical Depot and the combat troops themselves before the operation 
proved to answer other equipment and handling needs. Although space 
could not be provided for chemical service troops to handle supply, the 
sanitation problem was so great that the excess decontaminating appa- 
ratus were provided and manned by troops of the 29th Chemical 
Decontamination Company under the supervision of a medical officer. 

The theater and CWS supply system was substantially complete at 
the end of the Marshalls operation. In subsequent operations, the only 
major refinement was a differentiation between assault and garrison 
resupply. The practice previous to the Marianas operation in June was 
to provide resupply on a per-man basis without regard to whether the 
men supplied were in combat or garrison echelons. POA experience 
made it clear, however, that combat troops would not be in any area 
long enough to need resupply on some items, such as gas mask repair 
kits and gasproof curtains, even in the event of gas warfare. The 
garrison forces who collected and reconditioned equipment would be 
in greater need of reconditioning supplies and base development sup- 
plies. The CWS USAFICPA accordingly determined assault and gar- 
rison resupply blocks on the basis of probable need and scheduled 
shipment of these blocks so that assault forces would handle only 
essential resupply. 

The Final Test — Okinawa 

The great test of the Central Pacific supply system came with 
invasion of Okinawa in April 1945. Tenth Army was organized in 
Hawaii in preparation for the Ryukyus Campaign of which the Oki- 
nawa invasion was a part, and the Tenth Army Chemical Section, then 
under Col. Thomas A. Doxey and later under Col. John H. Harper, 
set to work with the theater (now U.S. Army Forces, Pacific Ocean 
Areas— USAFPOA) and CPBC Chemical Sections. CWS supply 
troubles both in providing basic equipment and in resupply were in- 
tensified because units and organizations scheduled for the operation 
were mounting in places varying from the west coast of the United 
States to the recently captured Palaus and some were still committed 



in other operations. The CWS planners prepared supply plans which 
could be rapidly adjusted to new situations. They provided this flexi- 
bility by planning for "type" units and organizations rather than 
for specific named units and organizations, according to earlier 
practice. The theater command arranged that requisitions for "type 5 * 
unit supplies could be placed on the San Francisco port. The port then 
forwarded supplies to holding and reconsignment points to await 
theater designation of receiving organizations. The theater further 
directed the assemblage of an emergency reserve stock in the Marianas 
to be used in event the "type" supplies fell short of filling basic require- 
ments for the designated specific unit. The CWS logisticians, on the 
basis of their own experience, estimated shortages for organizations 
which were known but which could not be consulted because they 
were still committed to combat. The logisticians computed resupply 
blocks according to the theater system as usual. 

The chemical service manpower requirement was greater than the 
theater had ever experienced. There were not enough service units 
available in the theater, and repeated pleas to the United States resulted 
in the scheduling of two chemical service units on redeployment from 
the European theater and one unit from the United States. But these 
units could not arrive before the operation was well under way, so 
Unmacht activated two service companies and a provisional chemical 
detachment in Hawaii. He also secured the assignment of a quarter- 
master service company to chemical work pending the arrival of other 
units in the target area. 96 

Assault on Okinawa's Hagushi beaches began on Easter Sunday 
morning, i April 1945. Contrary to expectations, no significant re- 
sistance was encountered, and a much larger area was taken than had 
been originally planned in the first three days. As far as the CWS was 
concerned, the easy advance immediately posed the problem of collect- 
ing chemical equipment dropped on the beachhead by incoming troops. 
Initially, division personnel established beach dumps. On L-day plus 
three, XXIV Corps took over the operation of the dumps, and the 
4342d Quartermaster Service Company which had been assigned to 
the CWS arrived with the rst Provisional POA Chemical Detachment 
(later the 411th). Elements of the service company and the detach- 

Cml unit files, 147th and 148th Cml General Serv Cos and 231st Cml Depot Co. (2) Ltr, 
CG Tenth Army to CG Island Comd, 20 Jan 45, sub: Plan for CWS Sup. Tenth Army AG 47J CmL 



ment were attached to division chemical sections to assist in dump 
operation. On 10 April 1945 Island Command, the garrison force for 
Okinawa, whose chemical officer was Lt. Col. Emory A. Lewis, took 
over the supervision of the dumps and service personnel. 97 Island Com- 
mand Chemical Section and its service units had the mission of receiv- 
ing, storing, and issuing CWS materiel to service echelons and to Tenth 
Army ASP's and dumps. 

The most serious problem of the CWS which developed during the 
Okinawa operation was the shortage of 4.2-inch mortar ammunition. 
The 4.2-inch chemical mortar was increasingly acknowledged by com- 
manders and troops alike as a valuable weapon. Because of extensive 
use, especially in such operations as the Battle of the Bulge,' 4.2 ammuni- 
tion was in short supply in the zone of interior and in all theaters of 
operations when the Okinawa operation was being formulated. The 
USAFPOA CWS had planned on having ammunition resupply for 
Okinawa arrive in the block-loaded ships from the west coast, but 
because of the shortage, ammunition had to be collected in the Hawaiian 
Islands and the Marianas and then forwarded to Okinawa. In all, ap- 
proximately 50,000 rounds of heavy M4 shell were forwarded and 
another 20,000 rounds of M3 shell were acquired from the Navy at 
the target. The M4 shell weighed 35 pounds as opposed to 25 pounds 
for the M3 HE and WP shell. The heavier shell decreased mortar range 
by 1,000 yards and caused greater strain and wear upon the guns. 
Breakdowns occurred and a greater replacement of parts than had 
been anticipated was required. It was a case, however, of using the 
M4 shell or having none. Fortunately, the end-item and spare parts 
replacement allowances were sufficient to cover necessary repairs, but 
this was not the end of the shell problem. 98 

The mortar units in combat soon discovered that fuzes had corroded 
in many of the shells, causing premature bursts. Tenth Army called 
for replacement fuzes. The USAFPOA responded to eleven emergency 
requests by air, shipping 46,502 pounds of fuzes from the United States 
and from Hawaii. 

m (1) Roy E. Appleman, James M. Burns, Russell A. Gugeler, and John Stevens, Okinawa: The Last 
Battle, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1948), pp. 68-76. (2) Action 
Rpc, XXIV Corps, Ryukyus Campaign, 1 Apr 47, dated 30 Jun 47, IncI to Barker to CCWS, 28 Sep 4j, 
Rpt, Visit to Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands. CWS 314-7 Observer Rpts. 

98 1 st Lt John A. Landt, CO B 8 8 th Cml Mortar Bn to CG 1st Marine Div, Opnl Rpt of Action 
With the 1st Marine Div on Okinawa, 30 June 45. 



Neither ammunition nor fuze problems could be attributed to the 
USAFPOA chemical supply system, for shells and fuzes were not avail- 
able in the United States according to plan. It is possible that the 
requirements stated for ammunition resupply were low, but since there 
was a shell shortage this point could not be proved. On the whole, the 
system worked well for the Okinawa operation. 

The administration of all CWS activities in the Central Pacific 
proved to be more effectively and economically handled than in other 
theaters because circumstances in the area permitted greater centraliza- 
tion of procedures and more command support of the CWS, The 
CWS supply system in the area also reflected this administrative effi- 
ciency. In supply the CWS did not have the independence in the 
Central Pacific that it had in other theaters — the service had to work 
through the well-oiled Army-Navy machine. But under Central 
Pacific conditions this lack of independence was not a significant 
drawback, for it brought the benefits of working as a part of, rather 
than in spite of, the theater organization. Independence in other 
theaters, on the other hand, brought the frustrating problems of trying 
to operate a very small supply service in a company of giants. In final 
analysis the CWS supply job was accomplished both through the 
independent CWS supply systems evolved in other theaters and through 
the centralized system of the Central Pacific and neither type of 
system proved to be perfect. But the Central Pacific system which 
provided logistical control from the top, although it was less responsive 
to the desires of field commanders, offered the CWS the best and most 
consistent employment of theater resources and talents. 


Chemical Warfare Service Units 

The Chemical Warfare Service provided service units for all theaters 

of operations during World War II. In so doing, it had in mind pri- 
marily its responsibility for providing the United States Armed Forces 
with the capability of defending themselves against gas attack and 
retaliating effectively in kind. The task of maintaining readiness for 
gas warfare in the field embraced a number of contributory missions. 
Chemical warfare materiel, whether defensive, like gas masks and pro- 
tective clothing, or offensive, like toxic agents and the munitions to 
deliver them, had to be provided through depots and dumps; this 
required units trained to handle, repair, and issue such items. Teams 
trained and equipped for the systematic decontamination of service 
area installations after gas attack were essential in a gas warfare 
situation. Defensive measures also included the availability of freshly 
processed permeable protective clothing for troops called on to execute 
missions in a contaminated area; hence the need for processing teams 
and equipment to insure an adequate supply of impregnated uniforms. 
Gas warfare intelligence was dependent on the presence in theaters of 
technicians and laboratories capable of determining the nature of gas 
attacks and assessing the significance of captured materiel. Finally, 
the prosecution of a gas offensive demanded close maintenance and 
supply support for the combat elements responsible, whether they were 
mortar battalions or Air Forces bombers. 

The needs of gas warfare readiness, therefore, set the pattern for 
prewar CWS planning for service units. The prescribed standard for 
a wartime situation, in which the existence or at least the imminence 
of gas warfare was taken for granted, called for the assignment of a 
chemical depot company, decontamination company, laboratory com- 
pany, impregnating company (as the processing company was then 
called) , and maintenance company to each field army, with additional 



base depot chemical facilities under the control of the army communi- 
cations zone. 1 By the time the United States entered the war, the 
CWS had come, perforce, to adjust its standards to meet the needs of 
gas warfare preparedness in situations which, for the time being, at 
least, did not include gas. The normal basis of assigning maintenance 
companies remained the field army, but the other units were hence- 
forth to be assigned to theaters of operation, either for retention under 
direct theater control or for further assignment to agencies within the 
theater. CWS air service units were provided for assignment to theater 
air forces. In addition to these specialized companies, the CWS began 
at the outset of the war to provide composite companies capable of 
undertaking all of these service missions for field armies through a 
system of specialized teams of platoon size or less. 

Somewhat more than a year after Pearl Harbor, with large-scale land 
action against the enemy taking place as yet only in the Southwest 
Pacific and North Africa, a CWS report showed a total of 19 service 
units of all types sent to all overseas destinations, including some in 
the Western Hemisphere. Of these 19, the Southwest Pacific had 
received a composite company, 2 decontamination companies, a lab- 
oratory, a maintenance, and a depot company. A depot company, a 
maintenance company, and a decontamination platoon had gone to 
North Africa. Only i processing companies had left the zone of 
interior; both were in the United Kingdom. 2 By the middle of 1944, 
with major Allied offensive campaigns in process all over the world, 
the current troop basis included an authorization for 128 CWS ground 
service units, about 25 more than the total number included in theater 
CWS plans, so far as these had been formulated. There were 102 
service units actually in the theaters as of 31 July 1944, compared with 
the 101 deemed necessary by the Chief, CWS, for a nongas situation. 
A total of 64 additional CWS units were on duty overseas with the 
Army Air Forces. In general, the supply of CWS service units was 
adequate for "insurance" purposes, considering the fact that gas had 
not been used by the enemy and that there was no particular indication 
of a sudden change in that situation. Had there been a sudden shift to 
gas warfare conditions, service unit requirements would have been 
seriously above existing theater capabilities in some instances, most 

1 FM 3 — 15, Sup and Field Serv, 17 Feb 41. 

? USCWC, Rpt on Gas Warfare Preparedness, U.S. Army, 1 Feb 43. 



notably in the need for processing companies. The European and 
Mediterranean theaters alone would have required a total of two dozen 
additional processing companies to meet an all-out resort to gas warfare 
by Germany. 3 

But with gas warfare no more than a grim possibility, it was not 
surprising that theaters were willing to spread their chemical service 
units somewhat thin. It was inevitable, also, that those service missions 
which were not directly dependent on the presence or threat of gas 
should come to the fore. Two of these, both unanticipated in prewar 
planning, came to be of particular importance: the provision of close 
maintenance and supply support for 4.2-inch mortars firing HE and 
the storing, mixing, filling, and loading of airborne incendiary muni- 
tions. The hard-won acceptance of the flame thrower as an effective 
weapon in the Pacific theaters brought with it the need for flame 
thrower maintenance and fuel supply. The demonstrated value of 
CWS screening smokes led to the requirement for stockage of smoke 
mixtures and maintenance of smoke generators. The immediate rele- 
vance of all these services to the needs of combat gave them prominence, 
but the basic gas warfare readiness mission was not forgotten. Depot 
companies continued to see to it that a gas mask in good working 
order was available for every soldier, processing companies maintained 
theater reserve stocks of impregnated clothing, and laboratory com- 
panies worked steadily at the tasks of evaluating enemy chemical war- 
fare materiel and providing technical surveillance for American stocks. 

As one of the consequences of serving as insurance against the out- 
break of gas warfare CWS service units acquired an assortment of 
responsibilities of immediate urgency, but often unrelated to their basic 
missions. The decontamination companies, which never functioned as 
such overseas, were particularly prone to this sort of development. 
Their equipment, which lent itself to the carrying and dispensing of 
water, became the basis for their utilization as shower units, among 
other things. Similarly, the impregnating plants of the processing 
companies bore enough of a functional relationship to laundry ma- 
chinery to enable companies to supplement quartermaster laundry 
service when their own processing mission was in abeyance. Sometimes 
it was CWS training rather than organic equipment that seemed to 
point the way to new missions for service units. More than one chemical 

3 USCWC, Rpt of Readiness for Cml Warfare as of i Jul 44. 



service company found itself, after a brief training period, operating 
smoke lines, and in two cases CWS service troops joined mortar units. 
Laboratory companies turned to developing or testing field expedients 
ranging from camouflage dye to flame thrower tanks and found time 
to perform an impressive variety of miscellaneous technical chores for 
other services. 

The development of new missions, even more than the ordinary 
exigencies of active theaters, frequently demanded a high degree of 
flexibility in CWS service units. More often than not, flexibility in 
response was obtained at the expense of the proper organization of the 
unit and consequently with a good deal of difficulty. For the most part, 
each type of company was set up to operate as a unit under the control 
of the company commander. Each subordinate element was organized, 
manned, and equipped for a specific range of specialized tasks con- 
tributory to the main task. Ad hoc rearrangement of manpower and 
equipment to meet new demands resulted in administrative problems 
which often interfered with the unit's effectiveness. The requirement 
for flexibility was met to some degree by the formation of the compos- 
ite companies, with their cellular structure designed to permit each 
cell to operate independently of the others. The experience of the 
Pacific theaters was to lead to greater reliance on these all-purpose 
organizations and to demands for still more flexibility of structure and 
employment. In this respect this experience pointed the way toward 
postwar doctrine. 

The Chemical Laboratory Company 

Seven Chemical Warfare Service laboratory companies saw service 
overseas between 1941 and 1945. The essential mission of the laboratory 
company in the field was to analyze and evaluate enemy chemical 
materiel and to maintain technical surveillance over CWS supplies. 
These functions made it a major source of technical intelligence, both 
as to enemy capabilities for chemical warfare and the storage life of 
CWS ammunition and protective items. At first conceived of as a more 
or less mobile entity capable of following an army in the field, it was 
in practice treated as a semifixed installation of a theater communica- 
tions zone, a status better suited to its more than ten tons of laboratory 



However bulky its equipment, a laboratory company was not a 
large unit. Its prescribed strength at the time the United States entered 
World War II was only 86 — 14 officers and 72 enlisted men — and the 
tendency of subsequent years was toward a still more restricted per- 
sonnel roster. Indeed, the first laboratory company to go overseas, 
en route at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, was authorized no 
more than 78 officers and men in its movement orders. 4 By the end 
of 1943, in accordance with a TOE of the preceding July, laboratory 
companies were reorganized to consist of 8 officers and 5 1 enlisted men. 
The enlisted strength was set at 50 the following year. 5 The original 
laboratory company was organized rather loosely into headquarters, 
chemical, and physical sections, the headquarters organization includ- 
ing, in addition to the major commanding, an officer in charge of 
chemical intelligence. The 1943 reorganization, while cutting the 
strength of the company, doubled the number of its subdivisions. 
There were, henceforth, in addition to the headquarters unit, sections 
designated organic, analytical, chemical engineering, toxicology, and 
intelligence. This setup was designed for a more effective division of 
labor in handling the work facing a company in the field. 

Once established and operating, usually in or near a major urban 
center, the chemical laboratory company acted as a research center 
and technical clearinghouse for the entire theater. In performance of 
its principal mission, it examined captured enemy chemical munitions 
and protective items, studied the behavior of American chemical 
materiel under theater conditions, surveyed items in storage for possible 
deterioration, collected chemical intelligence from captured enemy 
personnel and documents, and made regular reports of its various find- 
ings and activities to OCCWS. It was from the reports of the 4Jth 
Chemical Laboratory Company in the spring of 194J that the Chemical 
Warfare Service first learned of the existence and structure of the 
new German nerve gases, the so-called G agents. When not engaged 
in its principal chemical mission, the laboratory served the theater as 
a general-purpose research establishment, carrying out whatever proj- 
ects its equipment and technical personnel were capable of handling. 

4 History of the 42c! Cml Lab Co. 

5 TOE 3-97* ^ Jul 43 and 3 Jun 44, 



These tasks ranged from tests of Army Air Forces engine coolants to 
manufacture of a camouflage skin dye for jungle troops. 6 

The oldest of the laboratory companies was typical in its overseas 
experience. The 41st Chemical Laboratory had begun its existence as 
the 1st Chemical Company (Laboratory) in 1940 in the days before 
the laboratories were assigned the forties for numerical designation. 
From its ranks while in training at Edgewood Arsenal had come cadres 
for the second and third laboratories to be activated. In the spring 
of 1943 the company took ship for North Africa, arriving at Mers el 
Kebir near Oran early in May, as the Tunisia Campaign was approach- 
ing its end. Assigned at first to Fifth Army, the company spent several 
months at Marina, Algeria, just over the border from Fifth Army's 
Moroccan headquarters, working under the supervision of the Fifth's 
Chemical Officer, Colonel Barker. When Fifth Army embarked for 
Italy in September 1943, the 41st was retained in Africa at the disposal 
of theater headquarters in Algiers. After several weeks in a staging 
area near Oran, under assignment to Mediterranean Base Section, the 
company moved to more permanent quarters at Sidi Ferruch, near 
Algiers, and took up its role as a theater laboratory assigned to AFHQ. 
It remained there until after the fall of Rome. 7 

The principal business of the 41st in North Africa turned out to 
be surveillance of CWS materiel held in storage. When stored items 
developed unexpected reactions to aging in depots the laboratory was 
called upon for an explanation. An instance of this occurred in the 
spring of 1944 when the chemical officer of Seventh Army asked for 
an investigation of certain phosgene detector tubes, which had turned 
black. The 41st determined that the tubes, taken from the detector 
kit, M9, contained a highly unstable indicator chemical which had 
decomposed, and recommended replacement with tubes of a newer 
type. 8 For the most part, though, surveillance consisted of sending 
inspection teams to the depots. A typical team might consist of an 
officer and two enlisted men. 9 A surveillance program drawn up by 
the 41st in the spring of 1944 and scheduled for accomplishment before 

9 (1) Ltr, ACCWS Field Opns to Theater CmlO's, 10 Jun 44, sub: Rpts of Lab Units. (2) 43d 
Cml Lab Co, 29 Oct 43, Rpt, Problems Submitted to the 43d Cml Lab Co. Both in CWS 314.7 Unit 

7 History of the 41st Cml Lab Co. 

8 Tech Rpt 30, 41st Cml Lab Co, 8 Jun 44 . 

9 Memo, CmlO Fifth Army for CmlO AFHQ, 14 Jun 43, no sub. CWS MTOUSA 400.112 Analyses, 
Tests, Trials, Equivalents, Experiments. 



the end of the year included thirty-four item examinations, ranging 
from bulk mustard to antidim sticks (for preventing mist on gas mask 
eyepieces) . 10 

In July 1944 a few weeks after the fall of Rome, the 41st moved 
from its Algerian home to new quarters in the Italian capital. There 
it shared with a British Expeditionary Forces outfit, the South African 
23d Antigas Laboratory, the facilities of the Italian Military Chemical 
Institute. The surveillance responsibilities continued, including now 
a program for the test firing of mustard-filled mortar shells, instituted 
for the purpose of checking the ballistic properties of chemical ammu- 
nition kept in storage over long periods. 11 Intelligence reports increased 
as more chemical equipment from enemy depots in Italy fell into 
American hands. Captured items included not only German materiel 
but also defensive chemical warfare items from countries occupied or 
controlled by the Germans. The 41st had the opportunity of studying 
and reporting on individual gas mask canisters, decontamination kits, 
and the like from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, and Yugo- 
slavia in addition to German and Italian materiel. Nevertheless, as 
might have been expected in a less extensive theater, the intelligence 
functions of the 41st did not match in magnitude those of some of 
the laboratory companies in western Europe and the Pacific. 12 

In contrast to the comparatively routine transfer overseas of the 
41st Laboratory, the process of getting the 3d Chemical Field Lab- 
oratory Company (later redesignated the 42d Chemical Laboratory 
Company) to a theater of operations was far from typical. The com- 
pany came into being at Edgewood, Md., on 15 May 1941 with a 
complement of Reserve officers and a cadre drawn largely from the 
1st Laboratory. After filling out its ranks with newly inducted selec- 
tees, the unit spent the summer and early fall in basic and specialized 
training. Rather suddenly, at the end of October 1941, it was ordered 
to the west coast to prepare for shipment overseas. On 21 November, 
the company embarked and sailed westward, the first CWS unit of 
the war to be dispatched overseas. The destination was given simply 
as Plum, but it was not reached on schedule. Plum was the Philippines, 

10 Ltr, CO 41st Cml Lab Co to CCmlO NATOUSA, 24 May 44, sub: Surveillance Program for U.S. 
Cml Warfare Materiel. CWS MTOUSA 400.112 Analyses, Tests, Trials, Equivalents, Experiments. 

11 Interv, Hist Off with Maj James B. Goodson, CO 41st Cml Lab Co, 14 Aug $9. 

12 CWS Technical Notes for Laboratories (a series of monthly compilations of major laboratory field 
reports and other items of interest, published monthly from July 1944 until the end of the war by 
CWS Technical Command). 



and the troops were still at sea when, the Japanese turned the Philip- 
pines into a theater of war. The convoy received orders diverting it 
to Australia and, as indicated above, docked at Brisbane on 22 
December. The company was not to reach the Philippines for three 
and a half years. 

In Brisbane the company settled down to work as a unit of Base 
Section 3, U.S. Army Forces in Australia. By the end of February 
the laboratory equipment had been set up in permanent quarters and 
organized technical work was under way. At first a substantial number 
of laboratory personnel were detailed for general duty with base section 
headquarters, but these demands slackened after the first few months 
and by midyear the company was able to pursue its mission at approxi- 
mately full strength. It had become in the interim the 42d Chemical 
Laboratory Company by redesignation effective April 12, 1942, and 
had moved to new quarters in buildings formerly occupied by a 
Brisbane hospital. 13 

According to one of its commanding officers, the 42d possessed 
neither a clearly defined mission nor an effective training for field 
operations when it arrived in Australia. 14 This did not prevent the 
company from serving as an all-purpose technical unit from the very 
outset. Before it had finished unpacking its equipment, it had received 
and responded to Air Corps queries on oxygen and rust inhibiters, 
Australian Army problems with Kieselguhr water filters, and base 
section demands for an ant exterminator. Not long thereafter it was 
at work on practical studies of petroleum bomb fillings. In September 
1942, the 42d took on a major assignment for the Quartermaster 
Corps — turning 100,000 pounds of fatigue uniforms into jungle green 
camouflage suits. A formula and procedure for dyeing the uniforms 
were developed in the course of a day by a 5 -man team, and the dyeing 
itself was carried out under the supervision of company personnel. 

By midsummer the 42d, in addition to its routine analytical work, 
was engaged in several CWS research problems of a more generalized 
nature, including studies of nitrogen mustard, low temperature studies 
of mustard for high altitude spraying, and tests of the action of mustard 
and impregnite on fabric. Colonel Copthorne, chief chemical officer 
of USASOS, regarded this type of work as a necessary supplement to 

"History of the 42a 1 Cml Lab Co. 

14 Interv, Hist Off with Maj Hugh V. Hillis, CO 42c! Cml Lab Co (1942-44), 1$ Sep 45- 



the technical information he was receiving from the United States, so 
much so that he recommended to General Porter that field laboratory 
companies be declared branches of the Technical Division of Edgewood 
Arsenal. This attempt to formalize a research and development mission 
for the laboratory companies was met with a prompt and firm reminder 
that the mission of field laboratories was properly confined to testing 
friendly and captured chemical warfare equipment and identifying 
enemy toxic agents, should any be used. While this reminder may 
have served to set the record straight, it had little direct application 
to the multitude of miscellaneous technical problems which the 42d 
by now regarded as its responsibilities. In a subsequent letter General 
Porter admitted as much; pure research aside, he said, the work of the 
426 could not be precisely circumscribed so as to deprive SWPA of 
the services it was performing. 15 

Fortified with official approval, the 426 Chemical Laboratory Com- 
pany increasingly continued to handle the theater's laboratory needs. 
A report prepared in October 1943, summarizing the problems outside 
the normal mission area which the 42d had undertaken since its arrival, 
listed over fifty tasks performed for the other technical services and 
the Air Corps. Some of these were of considerable magnitude. A skin 
dye for camouflage purposes was developed to meet a Quartermaster 
Corps requirement, and enough of it was manufactured to fill 1 50,000 
2 -ounce bottles. For Ordnance a considerable amount of analysis of 
defective items was done: propellant cartridges, mortar charges, and 
AN-M103 bomb fuzes. In addition, captured enemy explosives were 
analyzed, both for Ordnance and for the Navy. Counter Intelligence 
Corps received help from the laboratory in checking on several instances 
of suspected sabotage. Industrial analyses of many types were made — 
steels for the Air Corps, sand for the Engineers, soldering flux for 
Ordnance, soaps for Quartermaster. Even the Chemical Warfare 
Service benefited from the 42d's nonmission labors, if the manufacture 
of some 3,500 detonation tubes of assorted toxic agents for troop 
training be so considered. 16 

The miscellaneous field work of the 42d, varied as it was, did not 

w (1) Ltr, CCmlO Hq USASOS SWPA to CCWS, no sub, 17 Aug 42. (2) Ltr, CCWS to CCmlO 
Hq USASOS SWPA, 110 sub, 17 Sep 42. (3) Ltr, CCmlO HQ USASOS SWPA to CCWS, no sub, 
24 Nov 42. (4) Ltr, CCWS to CCmlO Hq USASOS SWPA, no sub, 14 Jan 43- All in CWS 314.7 
Pers Files. 

w sid Cml Lab Co, 19 Oct 43, Rpt, Problems Submitted to the 416 Cml Lab Co. CWS 3M-7 Unit 



prevent the company from carrying out the primary responsibilities 
of its mission. Its regular technical intelligence reports on captured 
Japanese chemical equipment began to appear as soon as its laboratory 
was set up, and continued thereafter, to the number of nearly fifty, 
during the two and a half years that elapsed before it prepared to leave 
Australia. Surveillance of theater stocks of CWS equipment was a 
continuing responsibility. 17 

Toward the end of September 1944 the 42d was instructed to prepare 
itself and its equipment for transfer forward. Much of the regular 
laboratory work was accordingly discontinued, and the company spent 
the following months largely on garrison duty while waiting for move- 
ment orders. For a time it conducted advanced chemistry courses for 
its own personnel Finally, in June 1945, with the reconquest of the 
Philippines nearly complete, the 4^d embarked for Luzon. It arrived 
in Manila on 21 June. By the time the laboratory was set up once 
again, the war had come to an end. 18 

Just as the experience of the 42d demonstrated a tendency for the 
work of the laboratory in an isolated theater to broaden, the 43d Chem- 
ical Laboratory, in a somewhat comparable situation, exemplified to 
a striking degree the ability of such a unit to extend its usefulness. 
In this case the functions of the unit were construed by the theater, 
at least in practice, to include a measure of research and development. 
Despite the official CWS policy which regarded development as the 
prerogative of the Technical Division at Edgewood, the 43d, in the 
course of its work on "field expedients," tended to make itself a 
development unit in the field. 

The 43d Chemical Laboratory Company, activated at Edgewood 
Arsenal on 26 August 1942, 18 was ordered to Hawaii in December of 
1943. Upon its arrival it was assigned to theater headquarters (Central 
Pacific Area) and stationed at Schofield Barracks, where the theater 
chemical officer, Colonel Unmacht, had laboratory facilities (manned 
by 8th Chemical Depot Company personnel) already in operation. 
The 43 d took over the existing laboratory functions, added its own 
equipment, and set to work. 20 The immediate tasks were predominantly 
within the intelligence portion of the mission — the study and descrip- 

17 History of the 416 Cml Lab Co. 
" Ibid. 

19 Hq CWS Edgewood Arsenal GO 17, 16 Aug 42. 
"'History of Cml Sec AFMIDPAC, I, an. I-b, 8-1 1. 



tion of captured Japanese chemical equipment. Nearly one hundred 
technical reports on captured materiel were to be made by the 43d in 
the succeeding twenty months. Surveillance of theater chemical stocks 
led the company into a detailed study of deterioration in impregnated 
clothing. But before long larger problems began to absorb its attention. 

At the time the 43d arrived in the Pacific theater, Army, Navy, 
and Marine Corps personnel were becoming increasingly anxious to 
acquire armored vehicles equipped with flame throwers for use against 
Japanese island emplacements. Rather than wait for Edgewood Arsenal, 
entangled in conflicting priorities and requirements, to provide the 
weapons, the theater went ahead on its own. 21 The work was in its 
early stages when the 43d appeared on the scene. In February i944> 
after tests of the Anglo-Canadian Ronson flame thrower mounted on 
a Bren gun carrier had proved inconclusive, the project was placed in 
the hands of Colonel Unmacht, who assigned it to the 43d. A task 
force from the company succeeded in redesigning the Ronson to make 
it a practical main armament weapon for the M3 tank. Mounted in a 
shroud simulating a howitzer, the Ronson flame thrower turned the 
quondam M3 into the Satan. By mid-May 1944, the task force had 
supervised the completion, test firing, and combat readying of twenty- 
four Satans for use by the marines in the Marianas. 22 

From flame throwers the 43d moved on to an extensive consideration 
of flame thrower fuels. The development of thickened fuel — gasoline 
thickened to jelly by the addition of certain aluminum soaps — had 
proved to be essential to the effectiveness of flame throwers in the field. 
Napalm had been adopted as a standard thickener during the war, but 
in practice it appeared that field-thickened fuels tended to vary in 
characteristics and performance. Flame thrower fuels mixed in Hawaii 
and sent to the front lines, for example, were sometimes found to have 
had their viscosity more or less reduced by absorbed water, and any sub- 
stantial change in viscosity involved an unacceptable lack of certainty 
of flame thrower range and performance. Assigned this problem, the 
43d determined that drying gasoline before mixing, and adding finely 
divided activated silica gel to the mix, would produce a fuel stabilized 
enough to be packaged, stored, and shipped successfully. This work, 
accompanied by a series of papers on the theory and manufacture of 
stabilized fuel, was completed in the summer of 1945, whereupon the 

^See Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From Laboratory to f/eA/ JcTi. VII.| See also, below, |c"h. XTV.I 
23 History of Cml Sec AFMIDPAC, II, an. II-c, 2-6. 



company proceeded to supervise the building of an activating plant 
at the chemical warfare depot and the mixing of 150,000 gallons of 
fuel, using silica gel salvaged from packaged motors, in which it had 
been enclosed as a desiccant. 23 

The research and development activity which these accomplishments 
characterized went beyond the specific mission of the laboratory, but 
was typical of the manner in which Colonel Unmacht as head of the 
theater CWS encouraged independent action to meet theater needs. 
It played a major role in winning for the 43d a Meritorious Service 
Unit Award at the conclusion of hostilities. 24 

The Chemical Maintenance Company 

Twenty maintenance companies were supplied to the ground forces 
overseas by the CWS before the end of the war. Though designed to 
serve field armies, they could also be, and frequently were, assigned 
to the Communications Zone. Their mission was third and fourth 
echelon maintenance of all CWS equipment and materiel, which could 
and did include everything from salvaging discarded gas masks to 
manufacturing parts for the 4. 2 -inch mortar. While maintenance 
companies were intended to function as salvage and repair centers near 
CWS Class II and IV depots, in practice some maintenance units as- 
signed to field armies found it necessary to send their men forward 
beyond the army service area for close support of the front, in order 
to keep mortars and smoke generators in combat condition. 

T/O 3-47, 1 April 1942, set the authorized strength of a maintenance 
company at 4 officers and 119 enlisted men, organized into a head- 
quarters outfit, a 3 -unit repair platoon, and a salvage platoon. The 
repair platoon was supposed to include all of the company's skilled 
mechanics not assigned directly to headquarters, leaving the salvage 
platoon to operate principally with laborers. A revised organization 
table published in November 1944 showed a maintenance company 
pared down to 93 officers and men. The two platoons were redesignated 
gas mask repair and equipment repair, respectively, and nearly all the 
enlisted personnel authorized were classified according to specific skills. 

^(i) Ibid,, pp. 35-37. (2) 43d Cml Lab Co Tech Rpts 81, 10 Jul 45, and 90, 22 Aug 45. CWS 
3 14.7, Unit Files. 

2 *Ltr, CO 14th Cml Sv Bn to CG CPBC, 22 Aug 4u sub: Recommendation for the Meritorious 
Service Unit Award. CWS 314.7 Unit Files. 



The platoons were organized into functional sections. 25 Nevertheless, 
experience in the field throughout the war showed that under the 
pressure of combat requirements the work of maintenance companies 
often left prescribed organizational patterns behind. 

One of the more noteworthy service records of the war was that 
of the 1 2th Chemical Maintenance Company, which acquired eight 
battle credits in the course of assignments ranging from Tunisia 
through Sicily and Italy to central Europe. Activated i May 1942 at 
Fort Custer, Mich., the 12th went overseas in March 1943, landing 
at Casablanca on the 18th. It was assigned to Atlantic Base Section 
and its first job was running CWS supply dumps. In the last month 
of the Tunisia Campaign it operated in conjunction with advanced 
supply depots at Bone and Ouled Rahmoun in eastern Algeria and at 
Tabarka in Tunisia. It began to undertake more orthodox mainte- 
nance work — salvage and repair — in the days after the Tunisia Cam- 
paign ended. 26 

An advance detachment of the 12th, assigned to 3d Division, landed 
in Sicily on 10 July 1943 at the outset of the invasion, in order to get 
a CWS supply dump functioning as soon as possible near the combat 
area. The rest of the company was in Sicily by the middle of July. 
During the month or so of fighting that followed before Sicily was 
won, the company provided the first example of close maintenance 
support of combat units by the CWS. The i2th's maintenance and 
repair officer, Lieutenant Notorangelo, took a 10-man detachment 
into the combat zone near Sant'Agata in the second week of August 
to carry out on-the-spot maintenance for the 4. 2 -inch mortars of the 
2d Chemical Battalion. The battalion was supporting the infantry 
advance along the north coast of Sicily on the left wing of Seventh 
Army. The maintenance detachment later proceeded south to Ran- 
dazzo, on the right wing, to perform the same service for the 3d 
Chemical Battalion, after getting needed parts from a rear depot. At 
the same time, Lieutenant Notorangelo utilized this experience to 
provide the Chemical Officer, Seventh Army, with the first detailed 
figures available on attrition rates of mortar parts in combat. 27 

After a period of salvage and repair work in Palermo, marked by a 
concerted effort to get the required number of serviceable gas masks 

"TOE 3~47» 22 Nov 44. 

"Hist of the 1 2th Cml Maint Co. 

"Draft Ltr, CO 12th Cml Maint Co to CG NATOUSA, 17 Nov 43, sub: Recommendation for 
Award. CVS 3 14.7 Unit Files. 



ready for the coming campaign, the 12th followed the Allied forces 
into Italy early in November 1943. Setting up shop at the Fontanello 
Caves near Naples, the company reverted to its role of depot operator, 
storing incoming CWS supplies for Peninsular Base Section. It found 
time to re-establish its gas mask repair line, though, with the aid of 
some Italian civilian labor. In December the 12th responded to an 
emergency report from Fifth Army that mortar propellant charges 
were too damp to give accurate ranging. Discontinuing its gas mask 
line, the company set to work improvising a powder ring dryer and a 
shell reconditioning line and repacking the propellant rings in water- 
proofed cases. Two weeks after the operation began an explosion and 
fire wrecked the shops, though fortunately there were no major casual- 
ties. The 1 2th put its equipment together again at another depot near 
Casandrino, devised a more reliable powder ring dryer, and had its 
lines operating again within a week. 28 

Meanwhile, a mortar repair detachment had settled at Capua to 
service the mortar battalions attached to Fifth Army. In April 1944, 
the remainder of the company also moved to Capua. There they found 
the weapons repair section, commanded by Lieutenant Notorangelo, 
established at the erstwhile Royal Italian Arsenal, which the retreating 
Germans had wrecked before moving out. The section had joined other 
Fifth Army service troops in getting the installation in working order 
by salvaging usable machinery and acquiring additional equipment, 
Italian, American, or German, wherever possible. In effect, the 12th 
now had an arsenal of its own. It was fortunate that this was so, for 
the demands for smoke generator and mortar spare parts rose sharply 
under the pressure of the bitter Italian campaign of 1943-44. When 
the depots could not supply enough parts, the i2th's Capua arsenal 
manufactured them. The Weapons Repair Section, making full use 
of the skills of a large working force of Italian civilian machinists, 
inaugurated this new mission with the fabrication of mortar cup forks. 
A number of other items were soon added to the list as the rugged 
terrain, long usage, and high ranges took their toll of the overworked 
4. 2 -inch mortars. Shock absorber slides proved especially vulnerable. 
To keep the mortars in working condition, the 12th cast and machined 
new slides of bronze — after liberating the bronze from Italian naval 

28 (1) History of the 12th Cml Maim Co. (2) 12th Cml Maint Co, Activities During the Italian 
Campaign, 1943-44. CVTS 314.7 Unit Files. 



Capua Arsenal, as the Germans Left It. Within thirty days it was producing 
mortar parts for the Fifth Army. 

vessels in Naples harbor — which subsequently proved to be more dur- 
able than the brass slides they replaced. Tube caps and steel recoil 
springs were also prominent in the mortar parts output of the Capua 
arsenal. For the mechanical smoke generators and the power-driven 
decontaminating apparatus the weapons repairmen fabricated sprocket 
gears of several types, along with nuts, couplings, and the like. 

The usual repair functions of a maintenance company were carried 
on side by side with the manufacture of spare parts. The Capua arsenal, 
as reconstructed by the 12th, contained a cradle rack for repairing 
400-gallon tanks from power-driven decontaminating apparatus, a 
welding shop, a repair shop for vehicular components and chemical 
handling trucks, and sections for work on Esso and Besler mechanical 
smoke generators. The i2th's gas mask repair sections occupied a 
shop of its own, with two production lines for the disassembly, repair, 
and reassembly of damaged or salvaged masks. A group of Italian 



soldiers assisted in the operation of this facility, which turned out 
over 150,000 reconditioned masks in less than five months. 

In September 1944, the 12th was assigned to Seventh Army, then 
engaged in pushing up the Rhone Valley from the coast of southern 
France to join the armies in the European Theater of Operations. By the 
end of the month, the company was in Dijon, serving as a unit of 
Continental Advance Section. A weapons repair group, designated as 
Detachment A, moved on to fipinal to resume close support of the 
mortar battalions. More work was done to improve the Capua shock 
absorber slide, including the addition of small amounts of phosphoric 
tin to the original bronze alloy. Mortar cup forks continued to be 
made. Portable flame throwers were reconditioned. By December the 
rest of the company reached Spinal, whereupon a reorganized and 
somewhat smaller Detachment A moved out to the front. It took up 
quarters near the command post of the 99th Chemical Mortar Battalion, 
then supporting Third Division on the Colmar front. Here, within 
range of German artillery, the detachment kept the battalion's mortars 
in operating condition. The detachment remained with the battalion 
throughout the winter, and in March 1945, moving forward across 
the Saar with the front, became the first portion of the 12th to enter 
Germany. Before the end of the month it was across the Rhine. By 
the time the Germans surrendered, it had accompanied combat troops 
deep into southern Bavaria. 29 

A second close support group, Detachment B, left the main body 
of the 1 2th in mid-March to join the 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion 
in Germany. The 87th had begun to take part in the advance across 
the Rhineland, and the detachment had to carry out its mission between 
rapid movements forward. Once across the Rhine, and before moving 
ahead to the 96th Chemical Mortar Battalion, Detachment B performed 
a final individual maintenance mission for the 87th on the eve of the 
battalion's transfer to First Army. Together with the other forward 
elements of Seventh Army it had penetrated Austria before hostilities 
ended. 80 

Chemical maintenance companies were not as extensively utilized 
in the Pacific war as they were in Europe. Only two maintenance com- 
panies got west of Hawaii, and one of these, the 10th, ended the war 

"Hist of 1 2th Cml Maim Co. 



as a CWS general service company, a type of all-purpose support 
organization much favored in the Southwest Pacific Area. Before its 
conversion, however, the company had made important contributions 
in its original role. The ioth Chemical Maintenance Company, acti- 
vated i July 1940 at Edge wood Arsenal, was sent overseas three months 
after Pearl Harbor as part of the forces assigned to rebuild Allied power 
in the Southwest Pacific. It reached Australia early in April 1942, and 
like the 42d Chemical Laboratory Company joined Base Section 3 in 

As an early arrival in the theater, one of the loth's original tasks 
was to assist the 6 2d Chemical Depot Company in the operation of 
CWS depots in Australia. It was not long before special maintenance 
problems resulting from waging war in a tropical environment began 
to dominate the scene. A major example was the discouraging failure 
in combat of the M1A1 portable flame thrower in the course of the 
Papua Campaign. The ioth spent the greater part of 1943 putting 
the discredited weapon through an extensive series of tests, in the 
course of which all flame throwers in the SWPA were thoroughly over- 
hauled. 31 It became clear that tropical heat and humidity were the 
flame thrower's chief enemies. Pinhole corrosion of the nitrogen, hydro- 
gen, and fuel cylinders, occurring in 75 percent of the weapons ex- 
amined, led to leakage, low pressure, and consequent failure in the 
field. Corrosion resulting from moisture attacked other components 
as well, and batteries deteriorated readily when exposed to jungle 
climate. 32 

The ioth set to work to clear up as many of these defects as possible. 
There was no quick solution for the problem of pinholes in the cylin- 
ders. All that could be done was to repair those cylinders which were 
not excessively corroded and replace the rest, insofar as supplies per- 
mitted. In order to make it possible for troops to spot flame throwers 
with defective cylinders before attempting to use them in combat, 
pressure gages and adapters to fit all types of commercial pressure 

31 (1) Ltr, CmlO USASOS SWPA to CmlO's Base Sees 2, 3, 4, and 7 and CO ioth Cml Maint Co, 
16 May 43, sub: Flame Throwers. Sixth Army Reds, 470.71 Flame Thrower. (2) Lcr, CG USASOS 
SWPA to CO ioth Cml Maint Co, 6 Feb 44, sub: Commendation. History of the ioth Cmi Maint Co. 

M (1) Ltr, CCmlO USAFFE to CmlO USASOS SWPA, 12 Apr 43, sub: Auxiliary Equip for Flame 
Throwers. FECW 470.71/6 in CWS SPCVO 470.71 APO 501. (2) 3d Ind, CO ioth Cml Maint Co 
to CCmlO USASOS SWPA, 29 Dec 43. Sixth Army Reds, 470.71 Flame Thrower. 



cylinders were added to the flame thrower service kits. 33 The problems 
resulting from wet electrical systems were met by waterproofing the 
weapon effectively enough to enable it to stand total immersion and 
still retain its usefulness. The company's own tests of the results of 
its waterproofing project included the firing during rainfall of random 
samples of waterproofed weapons after keeping them under water for 
about seventeen hours. It was able to report by October of 1943 that, 
given adequate pressure in the cylinders, the flame throwers which it 
had waterproofed and checked would function as intended regardless 
of moisture. 34 

While the work on flame throwers was of major importance, it was 
far from constituting the only large-scale project of the 10th in Aus- 
tralia. Reconditioning of depot stocks was a continuing task. Providing 
waterproof seals for gas mask canisters kept the company busy on 
more than one occasion. Some 180,000 canisters of one type were 
waterproofed in late 1943 and early 1944; the company historian per- 
mitted himself the remark that the job had become somewhat monot- 
onous after the first hundred thousand. By April 1944, however, the 
10th found itself somewhat short of CWS assignments and tending 
more and more toward ordinary garrison details as the focus of war 
moved northward toward the Philippines. At last the company itself 
moved northward, to New Guinea, in August 1944, and shortly there- 
after was reorganized. Pressure toward the streamlining of rear area 
service units in the theater had been reflected in proposals to replace 
the CWS depot, maintenance, and decontamination units with general 
service companies capable of meeting all of these requirements as they 
arose. Though the European theater commanders had been unimpressed 
with the idea, it seemed sufficiently attractive in the special circum- 
stances of the Southwest Pacific to cause it to be adopted in the case 
of a few selected units, as soon as an appropriate table of organization 
was published. This event occurred in the summer of 1944, and the 
10th, just arrived in New Guinea and past the critical period in its 

a Ltr, CCmlO USAFFE to CmlO USASOS SWPA, 10 Jun 43, sub: Flame Thrower Testing Equip. 
Sixth Army Cml Sec Reds, 470.71 Flame Thrower. 

84 (r) rorh Cml Maint Co, Instcs for Changing the Battery in the Flame Thrower and Rewater- 
proofing, 28 May 43. Sixth Army Reds, 470.71 Flame Thrower. (2) Rpt, CO 10th Cml Maine Co 
to CCmlO USASOS SWPA, 15 Oct 43, sub: Rpt of Serviceability of Flame Thrower, Portable, M1A1, 
Waterproofed. CWS 314.7 Unit Files. (3) Ltr, Maj John J. Shaffer, USAR, to Hist Off, 19 Sep $6. 
Major Shaffer, then a captain, commanded the 10th Chemical Maintenance Company for the greater 
part of its service in Australia. 



maintenance mission, was one of the units to experience the change. 
As of i November 1944 it was reorganized as the 10th Chemical War- 
fare General Service Company. The remainder of its war service, 
including an additional eight months in New Guinea and the last month 
of the war in Luzon, was spent under that name. 35 

The Chemical Depot Company 

Chemical depot companies played a key role in the movement of 
CWS materiel in the overseas theaters. The basic mission of these 
units, some twenty of which saw overseas service, was to act as CWS 
supply centers, either for field armies or for communications zone 
commands. This included receiving, storing, and issuing chemical sup- 
plies, certain salvage operations, and operating filling lines for certain 
chemical munitions. A depot company was a good-sized outfit, with 
a total strength of almost 200 men. When in the field, it was not 
unusual for a company to resolve itself into a group of detachments 
handling a series of assignments simultaneously, A company assigned 
to a theater headquarters, on the other hand, was also capable of serving 
many needs, ranging from technical training to theater supply. 

As organized under TOE 3-67, 28 May 1942, the 184 officers and 
men of a depot company constituted a small headquarters unit, an 
administration platoon controlling three record, storage, and mainte- 
nance sections, and three service platoons for guard and labor functions. 
This plan was substantially altered by the next edition of the TOE, 

6 October 1943, which shifted administrative functions to an enlarged 
headquarters unit, turned the former administrative platoon into a 
j2-man maintenance organization, and assigned all remaining storage, 
surveillance, and handling responsibilities to the service platoons, now 
reduced to two. By the end of the following year emphasis was being 
placed on the supply and munitions filling missions, with a consequent 
conversion to a uniform 3 -platoon organization totaling ijj officers 
and men. 38 Operating under a headquarters unit charged with basic 
administration, the three service platoons, each divided into ammuni- 
tion, toxic gas, and general supply sections, were nonetheless capable 

B (O History of the 10th Cml Maint Co. (2) Draft Memo, CCWS to CofS, attn: ACofS G-3, 

7 Jan 44, sub: Proposed Cml Warfare General Serv Co. CWS 314.7 Unit Files. (3) TOE J— 1 37S : 
Cml Warfare General Serv Co, 9 Aug 44. 

88 (i) FM 3-6y, Cml Depot Co, 1 Dec 44. (a) TOE 3-67, 6 Jan 47. 



of acting independently if the need arose, providing the company com- 
mander with three ready-made units for detached service. 

The 8 th Chemical Depot Company had a notable record as one such 
theater supply agency. It was activated at Fort Shafter in March of 
1942 for the specific purpose of operating the supply functions of the 
Hawaiian Chemical Warfare Depot for the department chemical officer. 
These were of considerable magnitude. Under Colonel Unmacht's vig- 
orous leadership, the depot had already completed the substantial task 
of obtaining and distributing enough service gas masks to provide 
adequate protection to troops in the event of a new Pearl Harbor in 
chemical warfare. 37 By the time the 8 th was activated the depot was 
in full swing as the only central distribution agency in the department 
for CWS supplies. It maintained subdepots for local troops on the 
islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui. In addition to discharging its 
supply mission, the depot served as a third and fourth echelon mainte- 
nance center, a function performed in 1944-45 by the 20th Chemical 
Maintenance Company. 38 

Along with its other responsibilities, the 8 th found itself on activation 
with an impregnating plant already in full operation. Colonel Un- 
macht had had an experimental impregnating plant — one shipped to 
Hawaii at some earlier date — put in operating condition shortly before 
Pearl Harbor. One of his first acts after the attack was to order the 
plant into active operation, in order to provide protective clothing 
for the troops then in Hawaii. The plant, designated No. y, was 
manned by men of Company A, 1st Separate Chemical Battalion, the 
only force then available for the purpose. When Colonel Unmacht 
got his depot company activated, it was given the additional duty of 
running No. y until an impregnating company should arrive. As 
Plant No. y demonstrated a high degree of mechanical unreliability, 
the depot company was generally engaged in emergency repairs. For a 
time it took over and operated two small Navy impregnating plants 
at Pearl Harbor. By January 1943 a new plant, No. 8, had been 
shipped to the Islands, and a new building had been constructed to 
house it. The new facilities tended to ease the task of the depot com- 
pany somewhat, but not until January 1944 was the 8 th finally able 
to turn this unscheduled responsibility over to a newly arrived unit, 

*' See above, pp. U20I W^7\ 

88 History of Cml Sec AFMTDPAC, II, an. I-d, 2-23. 



the i ioth Chemical Processing Company, and concentrate on its supply 

As a supply unit, the 8 th was responsible for seeing to it that all 
troops sent forward from Hawaii were properly equipped with CWS 
materiel. It kept subdepots and forward areas supplied. The unit some- 
times found it necessary to handle bulk toxics in operations involving 
transfer from damaged containers, or from ton containers to drums. 
In the course of these handling operations, three enlisted men of the 
8th designed and built a handling cart for more expeditiously moving 
150-pound cylinders. 40 

The 8th assisted the 43d Laboratory Company in manufacturing 
the first batches of the stabilized flame thrower fuel (napalm plus 
activated silica gel) developed by the latter unit in 1945- In the 
summer of that year the Hawaiian Chemical Warfare Depot built its 
own unit for the activation of the silica geL The 8th had this unit 
operating at a rate of one ton per day during the last weeks of the war. 
Between May and August of 1945 the depot manufactured a total of 
226,343 gallons of fuel. 41 

Of great importance to the theater CWS was the 8th's secondary 
mission of training cadres for new units. Among these were supply 
detachments activated to help shoulder the burden of CWS depot 
management in Hawaii and general service companies destined for 
combat support in the Western Pacific. In the last year of the war 
the 8 th trained and supplied to other units enough officers and enlisted 
men to have doubled its own authorized strength. 

In contrast to the role of the 8 th as a theater headquarters supply 
element was that of the 6th Chemical Depot Company, a unit which 
operated many installations without ever permanently establishing itself 
at any of them. It was a depot company on the move, following 
American combat forces from England to Germany by way of North 
Africa, Italy, and France, 

The 6th was activated at Fort Sam Houston on 25 March 1942. 
After a brief training period, the company embarked for an overseas 
assignment on the 1st of July and arrived in Scotland on the 12th. 
Within a few days the company, the first of its kind to reach the 
European theater, was in quarters at two points in southwestern Eng- 

n Ibid. f V, an. Il-k, 1-6. 
i0 Ibid., V, an. Ill-a, 50-yi. 
41 Ibid., pp. 104, 107. 



land, under assignment to the newly created Southern Base Section of 
the theater Services of Supply. It set to work almost at once, sending 
out detachments to establish chemical sections at general depots for 
handling Class II and IV CWS supplies, as well as for constructing two 
depots for chemical munitions. This procedure of operating several 
installations at once through self-sufficient detachments was to be a 
consistent pattern in the operation of the 6th throughout its service 
overseas. 42 

The 6th was the CWS unit depot assigned to II Corps in the fall of 
1942 for operations in North Africa. It arrived in Oran from England 
early in December 1942, and immediately took over a depot previously 
established by corps headquarters. As the North African campaign 
developed, the 6th began setting up new installations, after the manner 
of its English experience. The Oran depot, for Class II and IV sup- 
plies, remained company headquarters for the time being, while de- 
tachments set up and operated depots eastward along the North African 
seaboard as far as the Tunisian border, turning them over in due 
course to relieving units. The company used anything available for 
storage — garages, factories, sheds — and resorted to open storage when 
necessary. For chemical munitions, however, open storage was the 
rule, rather than the exception. 43 

The 6th remained in North Africa during the month-long Sicilian 
campaign, but was reassigned to Fifth Army immediately afterwards 
in anticipation of the invasion of Italy. Nine of the company's enlisted 
men, temporarily attached to the 531st Engineer Shore Regiment, 
went ashore at Salerno on D-day, 9 September 1943, with the assault 
troops. Operating in two groups, they took charge of identifying, 
storing, and issuing CWS materiel brought over the beaches on the 
first three days of the invasion. By the 8th of October the 6th was in 

The 6th spent almost a year in Italy, in the course of which it was 
at one time or another responsible for over thirty supply points. It had 
general responsibility for all chemical depot needs of Fifth Army. 
Company headquarters, originally in the Naples area, was shifted 
northward repeatedly, reaching Piombino in northern Tuscany by 
midsummer of 1944. In the interval the company supplied two de- 

" (O History of the 6th Cml Depot Co. (2) Ltr, Maj Levin Lane to CmlC Hist Off, 28 Mar 
jo. Major Lane was commanding officer of the 6th, 1943-4 j. 
"History of the 6th Cml Depot Co. 



tachments for service with the Anzio-Nettuno assault force. The first 
of these landed at Nettuno on D-day, 22 January 1944, the second 
joined it on 23 January. During the months of bitter fighting that 
followed, the beachhead detachment of the 6th, augmented from time 
to time, handled 12,000 tons of CWS munitions. In the same period, 
Headquarters Detachment was enlarging the scope of its usual duties 
by manufacturing some 10,000 Molotov cocktails out of napalm and 
glass bottles, 44 

In July 1944, the 6th was assigned to Seventh Army, in order to 
participate for a third time in an invasion — in this case the assault on 
the Mediterranean coast of France. Three detachments, attached re- 
spectively to the 3rd, 36th, and 45th Divisions, VI Corps, landed with 
the initial assault forces on 1 5 August and carried out the unusual 
mission of organizing chemical supply on the beaches. Company head- 
quarters followed two weeks later and moved northward almost at 
once to Grenoble, where it set up a depot for Class II and IV CWS 
supplies before moving forward again. Meanwhile a detachment had 
gotten a base depot at Marseille under way for Continental Base 
Command, the supply and service agency of the invasion period. Other 
detachments handled CWS supply at successive ammunition supply 
points as Seventh Army advanced toward Alsace. 45 

The 6th remained with Seventh Army through the winter of 1944- 
45 (during which the partial withdrawal of American forces in Alsace 
to meet the threat of the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes 
temporarily forced the 6th, like some other forward units, to move 
its headquarters back), and advanced with it into Germany in the 
spring. In the meantime, it found time to organize and conduct a 
training program to convert a French smoke generator company to a 
chemical depot unit. 46 The end of the war found the company oper- 
ating several depots in the Seventh Army area of the southern Rhine- 
land. Immediately after the end of hostilities, the 6th set up Rheinau 
CWS Depot before preparing to go home. 47 

11 (1) Ibid. (2) Lane Ltr, 28 Mar jo. 
* 5 History of 6th Cm] Depot Co. 

4fl Ltr, CO 6th Cm! Depot Co to CG Seventh Army (Through CmlO Seventh Army), 9 Nov 44, 
sub: Rpt on Cml "Warfare Depot School . . . CWS 3 14.7 Unit Files. 
<T Hist of the 6th Cml Depot Co. 



The Chemical Decontamination Company 

The chemical decontamination company was a specialized organiza- 
tion designed to counter the threat of crippling gas attacks on rear 
area service facilities. While the services of a company were expected 
to be available to combat troops under gas attack if the situation per- 
mitted, the primary mission was confined to installations in the service 
area, on the assumption that combat units should have the capability 
to meet a tactical gas situation with their own resources. Deconamina- 
tion companies were not assigned by any precise formula (the recom- 
mended ratio was one company per 100,000 strength) and were in- 
tended, while maintaining a headquarters in a service area, to send out 
detachments to either service or combat zones at their own discretion. 
As organized under TOE 3-217 (r April 1942), a company included 
4 officers and 200 enlisted men, functioning as three 60-man platoons 
of three sections apiece, plus company headquarters. The table was 
changed on 12 October 1943 to provide for four 33-man platoons, 
reducing the total company strength to 170, and making the 10-man 
section the smallest operating unit, instead of having a further sub- 
division into squads, as formerly provided. The basic function of the 
section was to operate a 400-gallon power-driven decontaminating 
apparatus, a truck -mounted sprayer designed to heat and distribute a 
slurry of bleaching powder and water. 

The abstention of the belligerents from gas warfare left the decon- 
tamination companies without a primary mission to perform. In 
consequence, while keeping themselves in readiness for possible future 
gas emergencies, the companies sent overseas found themselves assigned 
to a variety of tasks. Theater and army chemical officers welcomed 
their presence when CWS-trained units were needed for munitions 
handling, smoke screening, or depot labor. Other elements of the 
armed forces discovered that the power-driven decontaminating appa- 
ratus had more than one use; thereafter, decontamination units were 
sometimes engaged in giving showers, handling water, and wetting 
down dusty roads. Occasionally, decontamination companies were 
pressed into service totally unrelated to their training or equipment. 
One such unit eventually became part of a G-2 task force in ETO. 

The 21 st Chemical Decontamination Company was one of the most 
active of those whose overseas service lay principally in the CWS 
mission area. The 21st, activated at Camp Bowie, Tex., in March 1942, 



began its overseas experience when its ist Platoon, detached for the 
purpose, joined Western Task Force in Casablanca on 18 November 
of the same year, ten days after the first assault forces had landed 
in North Africa. The task force chemical officer, Colonel Barker, used 
the platoon to set up his CWS depot. The platoon had had no specific 
training for this mission, but with the administrative aid of a detail 
from the task force chemical section it set up a depot nonetheless. By 
January 1943 it was able to find the additional time to assist in the 
program of CW schooling begun by Colonel Barker. 48 

In May 1943 the rest of the 21st reached Casablanca. By that time 
the company's ist Platoon had gone forward to Algeria, and the com- 
pany itself followed within a month. The company and platoon alike 
were destined for the Sicily Campaign and accordingly were earmarked 
for assignment to Seventh Army. 49 They arrived in Sicily during July, 
the ist Platoon going direct to Palermo (which had been occupied on 
the 2 2d), the remainder of the company landing on the south shore. 
By August the company had been reunited at Palermo, but only to 
split up into detachments stationed along the Sicilian north coast where 
they handled CWS supplies. Together with elements of the 63d Chem- 
ical Depot Company and the 12th Chemical Maintenance Company, 
the several platoons of the 21st implemented the CWS supply plan by 
setting up and operating a series of ammunition supply points extending 
as far east as Campofelice, some thirty miles beyond Palermo. 50 The 
2 1 st also supervised the operation of the CWS Class II depot in Palermo 
until relieved by the 63d Depot Company in October. 

The 2 ist remained in Sicily for about ten months after the conclu- 
sion of the Sicily Campaign, under assignment to Island Base Section. 
During the period it was kept busy on various CWS tasks under the 
supervision of the IBS chemical officer, including such work as gas 
mask reconditioning and the maintenance of a smoke line as part of 
the defense plan for Palermo harbor. 51 By June of 1944 CWS stocks 
in Sicily had been closed out, and the 21st went to Italy to prepare for 
reassignment to Seventh Army and the campaign in southern France. 

The role of the 21st in the Seventh Army's campaign from the 
beaches of the Riviera to the heart of Germany was to be that of a 

4S Hist of the 2 ist Decontamination Co. Seventh Army 322. 
"Seventh Army Rpt of Opns in Sicilian Campaign, an. H. 

60 Ibid. 

61 History of IBS. 



smoke unit. There was time for only a brief training period before the 
company joined the assault forces. In the initial assault, a platoon of 
the 2 1 st accompanied each of the three assault divisions, company 
headquarters and the remaining platoon being held in reserve. 52 The 
mission in this instance was to provide smoke cover for supply dumps 
on and near the beaches, as needed. On D-day, August 15, groups of 
men from the 21st went ashore with the first assault wave carrying 
(or towing) smoke pots with them. Smoke lines were set up several 
hundred yards inland as soon as possible. Two weeks later the 21st 
was moved, in two installments, to Marseille to provide smoke cover 
for the port. For its work on the beaches, the company received a 
commendation. 53 

As the campaign advanced northward toward Alsace and Germany, 
the 2 1 st continued to function as a smoke generator outfit. Equipped 
with smoke pots and M2 mechanical smoke generators, it provided 
detachments for smoke coverage throughout the autumn of 1944 for 
the Army supply routes. Toward the close of the winter campaign in 
Alsace, the company once again found itself in a battle zone when it 
provided screening for the troops, American and French, of the XXI 
Corps front during the final cleaning up of the Colmar Pocket. 54 

Though the 21st had become accustomed to its smoke mission by 
the spring of 1945, it had reverted to its original role by the end of 
the war. As American troops drove across Germany in April and May 
of 1945, they seized intact a number of chemical warfare depots. The 
task of safeguarding and managing these important and potentially 
hazardous acquisitions was an appropriate one for a decontamination 
company. Accordingly, a detachment of the 21st took over initial gas 
security and munition inventory responsibility at the Wildflecken site 
in April. By the time the war ended, the company was in charge of 
gas security for the principal German chemical depot at St. Georgen, 
deep in Bavaria. 55 

The overseas experience of the 31st Chemical Decontamination 
Company was in decided contrast to that of the 21st. Both gained 

"Seventh CWS Staff Sec Rpt, i Jan-i} Oct 44. 
M GO 64, Hq Seventh Army, 24 Feb 45. 

54 CO 21st Cml Decontamination Co to CmlO Seventh Army, 25 Feb 45, Rpts., (1) Opns with XXI 
Corps and 75th Infantry Div, (2) Opns with the 3d Inf Div. CWS 314.7 Unit Files. 

65 (1) Memo, CmlO Seventh Army to CO 21st Cml Decontamination Co, 10 Apr 45, no sub. (2) 
Memo, Div CmlO 4 2d Inf Div to CmlO Seventh Army, 14 May 45, sub: Opn of 21st Cml Co (Decon- 
tamination). Both in CWS 314.7 Unit Files. 



honors for front-line combat. But while the 21st served in direct 
support of CWS missions as supply and smoke troops when not ful- 
filling their original purpose, the secondary missions ultimately acquired 
by the 31st turned out to be somewhat farther afield. 

The 31st was activated at Camp Bowie, Tex., in July 1942. After 
a training period which included some instruction in amphibious oper- 
ations, it embarked for Great Britain, arriving early in January 1944. 
Its assignment was to First Army's 6th Engineer Special Brigade, a 
collection of units destined for the assault wave of the Normandy 
invasion. With them it underwent further training in invasion tactics 
throughout most of the two months immediately preceding the start 
of the campaign. 

Shortly after noon on D-day a 25-man detachment from the 31st 
landed in Normandy with the 149th Engineer Combat Battalion and 
joined the battle which had been in progress on Omaha Beach since 
dawn, its primary mission being reconnaissance against the possible 
gassing of the landing site by the Germans. By the time the remainder 
of the company landed on the following day, seven of the detachment's 
personnel, including its commander, 1st Lt. Stanley Boggs, had been 
wounded. When the absence of gas warfare had been confirmed, the 
company joined other service troops in policing the beach and unloading 
ammunition. It was able to move to a bivouac area on 12 June (D plus 
6), by which time it was busy with a variety of emergency tasks — 
assembling supply dumps, guarding prisoners, and finding new uses 
for its big power-driven decontaminating tanks. It employed them to 
wet down dust, to haul water, to fight fires, and to provide showers. 56 

In the last week of July the battle moved out of Normandy, and by 
mid-August the Germans were rapidly retreating across France. As 
the German policy of abstention from gas warfare continued to be 
confirmed by events, the necessity for the retention of decontamination 
units by the engineer special brigades declined. On August 20th, the 
31st was reassigned, this time to an unexpected destination. It was 
detailed to Headquarters, Special Troops, 12th Army Group, to serve 
as headquarters troops for a special intelligence force being organized 
by the 12th Army Group G-2. This so-called T-Force was designed 
to operate as a front-line agency directly behind the advancing combat 
troops, where they were to seize enemy documents and round up agents 

50 History of the 31st Cml Decontamination Co. 



and collaborators before they escaped. 57 The 3 1st turned in all its CWS 
unit equipment, including its decontamination tanks, drew in exchange 
an additional supply of cargo trucks and jeeps, and departed, for prac- 
tical purposes no longer a CWS unit, for the first T-Force objective — 
Paris. On August 23, it reached the front line at Rambouillet. The 
objective was entered on August 25th, in the vanguard of the Allied 
troops. The 3 1st, one of the first American service units in the liberated 
capital, had T-Force headquarters set up in the Petit Palais before mid- 
night of that day. That action marked the beginning of more than 
eight months of constant movement* T-Force headquarters left Paris 
for the east on 7 September. Between that date and the German 
surrender the following May, the 31st occupied fourteen successive 
stations in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Germany. It had all 
the usual headquarters administrative duties to keep it occupied — 
operating messes, providing mail and payroll services, supplying the 
force with clerks, maintaining a motor pool, and assuring internal 

The 31st continued in its new role until T-Force ceased to function 
on 6 May 1945, the day before the instrument of surrender was signed 
at Reims. The company was en route for Wiesbaden at the time. On 
its arrival it joined 12th Army Group's Special Troops and performed 
such missions as operating trucks and guarding prisoners of war for 
three weeks until it was returned to the United States for redeployment 
to the Pacific. It was training for that purpose when the war ended. 58 

The Chemical Processing Company 

The chemical processing company was a basic element in defense 
against gas warfare. Its primary mission was to keep available to 
theater chemical officers a supply of permeable protective clothing 
adequately and recently impregnated with chlorinating compounds so 
as to protect the wearer from the effects of vesicant vapor or droplets. 
Companies were designed for assignment to theaters for location in the 
communications zone, generally near a chemical depot. 

A company consisted of a total of 146 men, organized on a 2 -platoon 
basis. Each platoon was the organizational equivalent of a processing 
plant and contained three functional sections for continuous 3 -shift 

57 1 2th Army Group Rpt of Opns, IV, 3-6. 
68 Hist of the 31st Cml Decontamination Co. 



operation. Accordingly, the company possessed two impregnating 
plants (either the Mi type employing acetylene tetrachloride as a sol- 
vent or the M2 water suspension type). 59 The impregnating plants 
were semifixed industrial installations of impressive size, not unlike 
commercial laundries. An Mi plant, for example, included two 400- 
gallon solution tanks, a predryer, two final dryers, and an impregnator, 
recognizably related to laundry-type drying and washing machines 
respectively, solvent recovery apparatus, a steam generator unit, com- 
plete with boiler and oil burner, an electric generator unit, a fuel tank, 
a water pump, and such auxiliary items as work tables, tool kits, and 
spare parts — the total equipment load approximating fifty tons. It 
could be installed only in a building with a floor heavy enough to 
support it and large enough to provide adequate work space. In 
practice, this meant a building with the equivalent of a 4-inch rein- 
forced concrete floor and about 3,600 square feet of floor space. 
Installation required the skills and labor needed to handle heavy 
machinery, four or five separate piping systems, and electrical wiring. 60 
The equipment and techniques involved in the impregnation of clothing 
were enough like those of quartermaster laundries to provide the proc- 
essing companies with ready-made secondary missions — laundering, 
dry-cleaning, waterproofing, dyeing, and comparable service functions 
— which were to keep many companies profitably occupied during 
periods when their primary mission was not in requisition. But less 
obvious duties were not wanting. Like other service troops, processing 
companies were drawn upon for whatever labors were required at the 
time. Depot assignments were not uncommon. Two units, the 113th 
and the 120th Chemical Processing Companies, had nearly all their 
men detailed for a time to the 87th and 8 1st Chemical Mortar Battalions 
respectively to provide additional support for the mortar teams. They 
served with the battalions throughout the Normandy and Northern 
France Campaigns. Another, the 109 th, did construction work with 
the engineers. But a due regard for the possible outbreak of gas 
warfare and the corresponding requirement in every theater for reserve 
supplies of impregnated clothing kept processing companies occupied 
with their primary mission fairly often. 

The experience of the 105th Chemical Processing Company may be 
cited to demonstrate the work of a typical unit. The 105 th was ac- 

w TOE 3-77, 1 Mar 44. 

W TM 3-270, Clothing Impregnating Plant Mi (Theater of Opns), 4 Feb 44. 



Plant of 105th Chemical Processing Company, Brisbane, Australia 

tivated in August 1942 at Edgewood Arsenal and trained there and at 
Camp Sibert. In mid-May 1943, the company embarked from New 
York for Brisbane, Australia, via the Panama Canal. It arrived a 
month later, marched out to Camp Doomben, and went to work for 
the chemical warfare depot and base section headquarters pending 
arrival of its impregnation plants. 61 

Personnel of the 105th got their first taste of processing in the field 
when the bulk of the company's first platoon went to Sydney to help 
the theater provide a reserve of some 70,000 protective uniforms for 
its troops. The 6zd Chemical Depot Company was in charge of the 
effort, which consisted of getting a nonoperating improvised impreg- 
nating plant in working condition. The detachment spent a week on 
the task before the setup, manufactured from standard laundry equip- 
ment, was ready for its first load. Thenceforth, the unit kept the 
plant running at full prescribed rates, some 8,000 pounds of clothing 
per 24-hour run. It remained on the job until mid-February 1944, 

81 History of the 105th Cml Processing Co. 



when, with the mission virtually complete, it rejoined the rest of the 
company. 62 

The rest of the 105th had been kept busy, meanwhile, on details for 
the theater chemical officer. One detachment, for example, went to 
Columboola, two hundred miles west of Brisbane, to provide storage 
and perform surveillance for 29,000 mustard-filled bombs, a task in- 
volving a good deal of decontamination work when leakers were found. 
The company's first organic impregnating plant, an Mi, arrived in 
January 1944, an< ^ the men went to work to provide a building for it 
at the CWS center near Brisbane. Before the end of March, after 
essential piping was finally acquired, the plant was ready for operation, 
and the 105th proceeded with its primary mission. 

Not long thereafter the 1st Platoon was again detached, this time 
for duty at Base A, Milne Bay, New Guinea. At this more forward 
base it set up an impregnating plant to help protect the combat forces 
clearing the way to the Philippines against possible gas attack. The 2d 
Platoon continued operating the company's Mi plant in Brisbane, for 
the most part on a 24-hour basis. Its output of protective clothing 
continued until the beginning of October 1944, when it was ordered 
to cease operations and prepare for movement. For the next few 
months, while awaiting movement orders, the 105th kept itself busy 
with miscellaneous jobs for the 62d Chemical Service Company and 
the local Ordnance service center. At Milne Bay, meanwhile, the com- 
pany's 1 st Detachment, now well behind the new front in Leyte, had 
been diverted to laundry and dry-cleaning operations, together with 
depot work. 83 

In mid- June 1945, the 105th finally received its long delayed orders 
and moved forward to Luzon. At the same time the 1st Detachment 
left Milne Bay and rejoined the company at the CWS training center 
near Manila. The training center needed them, but not for processing; 
it was in the midst of a hurried construction program to house a CWS 
school and garrison. The 105th, well accustomed to construction jobs, 
pitched in and was hard at work building facilities when hostilities 

Another processing company in the Southwest Pacific Area, the 
103d, though its overseas experience was much like that of the 105th, 

83 (1) Ibid. (2) History of Cml Sec Hq USASOS SWPA. Orgn Files, AFWESPAC, Folder 
USASOS History of Cml Warfare School, APO 923, Jul 42-May 44. 
M History of 105 th Cml Processing Co. 



found itself for a time with a new mission. The 103d, which had also 
been activated at Edgewood in August 1942, was sent to Hollandia, 
New Guinea, in July 1944. There, at a base captured from the 
Japanese only three months before, it was to be comparatively close 
to combat organizations. 

An immediate need of the combat troops was protection against 
mite-born scrub typhus. The answer appeared to be impregnation of 
uniforms with an insecticide. Accordingly, the 103d, once it had its 
two impregnating plants set up, was put to work mite-proofing all 
available uniforms with dimethyl phthalate. Not until this task was 
complete, in mid-October, did the company turn to its normal process- 
ing missions. But by that time theater requirements for protective 
clothing were taking second place to more routine needs. The base 
quartermaster required assistance in meeting his laundering mission, 
so that the 103d began devoting the bulk of its time to laundry. By 
December 1944, the company's plants were working full time as laun- 
dries for base units and hospitals. These duties, continued for the next 
six months at rates in excess of 150,000 pounds of laundry per month, 
earned the 103d a Meritorious Service Unit Plaque before it went to 
Luzon for miscellaneous service assignments just before the Japanese 
surrender. 64 

The Chemical Service Company 

For the greater part of the war the type of unit ultimately designated 
as a chemical service company was known as a chemical composite 
company. 65 The purpose of the composite company was to provide 
field organizations of divisional size with a CWS service organization 
capable of simultaneously operating supply points, doing third and 
fourth echelon maintenance, running a field laboratory and a field 
impregnating program, and providing at least a nucleus of trained 
men for decontamination. Furthermore, the composite company was 
expected to be able to put its entire manpower of over 200 into any 
one of these tasks should the situation require. The goal was flexibility: 
a versatile unit, not too tightly organized, which could meet CWS 
service needs for smaller combat forces or isolated fronts. The war in 
the Pacific was emphatically of such a nature, and it was in the Pacific 
that most composite companies saw service. 

M History of the 103d Cml Processing Co. 

"Composite companies were redesignated service companies in March 1945. 



The first organizational scheme for composite companies provided 
for specialized sections of considerable bulk, averaging almost forty 
men apiece, fairly closely tied in to company headquarters, and pre- 
sumably meant to remain intact during operations. 66 Within a short 
time reports from the Southwest Pacific declared that more flexibility 
was needed and that in actual practice existing units were usually split 
up into smaller groups. Such detachments usually suffered from the 
lack of an appropriate administrative organization and organic equip- 
ment. The problem was that the concept of cellular structure had 
been modified by too great a dependence on the administrative and 
internal support capabilities of the unit as a whole. The cells were 
not self-sufficient, and clearly they needed to be. In July 1943 a 
new organization plan was devised, making more explicit use of the 
principle of cellular structure — that is, of flexible organization based 
on small specialized teams capable of extended independent operations 
— than had previously been the case. The new pattern, applicable alike 
for separate platoons, companies, or battalions, was promulgated by 
TOE 3-500, 19 July 1943, and provided a choice of several types of 
such teams, varying in size from one to sixty-six men, for the CWS 
functions of maintenance, depot operations, decontamination, proc- 
essing, and laboratory work. The War Department also authorized 
teams which could operate as headquarters for units composed of 
operational teams and support teams to operate messes and to provide 
automotive maintenance. Separate equipment allowances were listed 
for each type of team. This arrangement was intended to make possible 
the formation of composite units of a size directly related to the type 
of mission required and the size of the force to be supported. A 
further refinement of cellular organization was made when the TOE 
was reissued in December 1944 in order to provide still greater flexi- 
bility, principally in the area of administrative and maintenance 
teams. 67 

Hence, the service units that the CWS placed overseas, for the most 
part in the Pacific, were far from uniform in size, makeup, or func- 
tions. In some cases, rather than maintain company organizations for 
scattered service detachments, companies were inactivated and their 

w TOE }~i77> Cml Composite Co, i Apr 42. 

67 (1) Ltrs, CCmlO USASOS to CCWS, 27 Jan 43 and 6 Mar 43, sub: Cml Composite Cos. CWS 
320.2 CVS Units. (2) TOE 3-500, Cml Warfare Serv Orgns, 19 Jul 43, iy Dec 44, 



93d Chemical Composite Company Testing Flame Thrower Fuels, 
Milne Bay, New Guinea. 

elements reconstituted as separate service platoons, as TOE 3-J00 had 
provided for. 68 Sixth Army, in the course of its campaign on Luzon in 
1945, attached chemical service platoons to its divisions; the missions 
of such a divisional platoon included reconditioning 4. 2 -inch mortar 
ammunition (the checking and cleaning of shells being of particular 
importance in the corrosive environment of the tropics), service and 
maintenance of portable flame throwers (together with training their 
operators) , manning a smoke pot line, repairing gas masks, preparing 
napalm, performing second and third echelon maintenance of mortars, 
providing chemical warfare intelligence, and using the power-driven 
decontaminating apparatus as a water carrier and portable shower. 
Such an attached platoon was regarded by Sixth Army as an essential 
part of the combat division. 69 

88 The 94th Chemical Composite Company, for example, assigned to SWPA in the fall of 1943, oper- 
ated as four separate units from January 1944 onward and was at length disbanded in November 1944 
to form the 27id, 273d, 274th, and 275th Composite Platoons. 

m Ltr, CG Sixth Army to CG USAFFE, 26 Dec 44, sub: Shortage of Cml Serv Troops. Sixth Army 
322 CVS Orgns* 



One of the few exceptions to the rule that CWS composite companies 
went to the Pacific was the 9 2d Chemical Composite Company. 
Activated at the end of 1942 at Camp Sibert, the 9 2d was organized 
on the basis of TOE 3-277 when it went overseas the following spring. 
It was destined for the North African theater. Its debarkation point, 
reached on 10 May 1943, was Casablanca, but it soon moved forward 
to Mateur in newly won Tunisia. There its depot section took over 
the CWS section of General Depot 6, Eastern Base Section, and its 
impregnation section set up an open storage depot. The laboratory 
section assembled its equipment in a garage and went to work on 
captured chemical materiel. The maintenance section set up a repair 
shop and began work on gas masks, flame throwers, and decontami- 
nators, both portable and power driven. During the summer the units 
followed EBS headquarters from Mateur to Bizerte but otherwise they 
maintained their activities through 1943 uninterrupted, save for an 
occasional air raid. The company formed a principal CWS rear 
echelon support for both the Sicilian and the Italian invasions. 

In February 1944 the 92d was reorganized under the new TOE 
3-500, utilizing an organizational scheme under which the laboratory 
section was discontinued entirely, leaving the company with a repair 
team, a maintenance and salvage section, a decontamination team, and 
three supply (depot) teams, as well as a headquarters and mess. 70 The 
following month, despite the new organization, a detachment amount- 
ing to about half of one of the supply teams (and taking about half 
of the team's equipment) left for depot duties with Northern Base 
Section in Corsica, not to rejoin the company until January 1945. 
Another depot team, together with the decontamination team, was 
sent, as Detachment A, to Island Base Section in Palermo. The bulk 
of the company spent a few weeks closing out its depot and mainte- 
nance installations before being itself transferred in May to Mediter- 
ranean Base Section at Oran. 71 

The 92d's mission at Oran was primarily the creation of a consoli- 
dated CWS depot near MBS headquarters. Four outlying depots were 
closed out and their stocks moved to the new central installation, a 
former engineer storage center with ample facilities. It took more 
than a month to get the 4,000 tons of CWS materiel crated, consoli- 

w Ltr, AGO to CG NATO, 17 Feb 44, sub: Reorgn of 926 Cml Composite Co. AG 322 (14 Feb 44) 

n History, $zd Cml Composite Co. 



A Chemical Service Company Laboratory, New Guinea 

dated, stored, and properly maintained. When the job was complete 
and the depot, plus an attached CWS maintenance shop, was in good 
running order, the $zd turned the facilities over to another unit and 
prepared to leave fpr its next assignment, Peninsular Base Section in 
Italy. 72 

In Italy the 9 2d served again primarily as a depot unit. Upon its 
arrival in mid -August 1944, it was sent to the CWS depot near 
Bagnoli; Detachment A had already arrived from Sicily to take over 
the depot at Santa Maria and move its stocks to Bagnoli for consolida- 
tion. The maintenance mission was resumed in September, when a 
detachment went north to set up and run a CWS maintenance shop 
at PBS Forward Echelon, Leghorn. This left the rest of the company 
with the Bagnoli depot as its sole responsibility, except for the gas 
mask repair section, which operated in conjunction with the storage 
facility. The decontamination team had become, in effect, another 
depot team. Depot administration, however, came to include training 

" ibid. 



as well. An Italian service battalion was stationed at the depot under 
control of the 9 2d for training in depot operation, as well as for the 
sake of the additional labor supply. Depot work included both Class II 
and IV storage at the main installations and open storage of Class V 
materiel at a site near Naples. The provision of trained security details 
for shipment and storage of toxic munitions gave men of the decon- 
tamination team recurring practice in their primary mission. A less 
common opportunity for the use of their skills came in spring, when 
the team decontaminated the area used by the 41st Chemical Laboratory 
Company for testing mustard-filled mortar shells. 73 

The 9 2d remained on the job as a depot-maintenance outfit at Bagnoli 
and Leghorn for the remainder of the war. The cessation of hostilities 
in Europe did not reduce the company's workload for some time. The 
Leghorn detachment, much depleted by personnel transfers, acquired 
control of a German prisoner of war battalion to help it rehabilitate, 
box, and ship materiel to the Far East, a task accomplished ahead of 
schedule. The Bagnoli portion of the company celebrated the end of 
the war by disposing of its supply of toxics through the winter of 
194J-46, sinking the materiel in deep water off the island of Ischia. 
It was not until the spring of 1946 that the 9 2d, by then possessed of 
a Meritorious Service Unit Plaque, was ready for inactivation. 

More typical of the experience of composite companies was the 
overseas record of the 240th. Activated in August 1943, at Camp 
Sibert, the 240th Chemical Composite Company was reorganized under 
TOE 3-500 the following February. Under this setup, the company 
had a total of no less than twenty-two cellular teams, including at 
least one for each of the following CWS service missions: maintenance, 
supply, decontamination, and processing. The last of these was repre- 
sented by only a single unit, and the laboratory function was omitted 
altogether, leaving the company organized primarily for depot and 
maintenance work, with decontamination capabilities when needed. 
The 240th, after reorganization, had a total strength of just over 200 
men. Toward the end of May 1944, it embarked from Portland, Ore., 
for the Southwest Pacific Area, and arrived in Finschhafen, New 
Guinea, a month later for assignment to Sixth Army. 

On arrival, the 240th went into bivouac at Cape Cretin and began 
functioning for the time being as a depot unit, helping out with the 

9 ibid. 



operation of the CWS depot at Finschhafen's Base F. Meanwhile, the 
Chemical Officer, Sixth Army, decided that the 240th, like other com- 
posite companies so assigned, could be best utilized as four separate 
service units, of a size and composition suitable to the support of a 
reinforced division. Accordingly, in mid-August, the company became 
the parent of Units 1 through 4. Unit 1 was weighted toward the 
maintenance and depot functions, as was Unit 4, though the latter also 
had impregnation specialists. Unit 2 was largely drawn from the 
impregnation team, with smaller numbers representing the other 
service missions. Unit 3 was almost entirely a maintenance outfit, 
except for one small depot team. Company headquarters personnel 
were divided between units 1, 2, and 4- 74 All four units were destined 
to participate as divisional support elements in amphibious assaults. 

Unit 1, suitably enough, was the first to be committed. Toward the 
end of August it was earmarked for the mid-September invasion of 
Morotai, midway between New Guinea and the Philippines, Its mission 
was to set up CWS supply dumps on the beaches to collect, store, and 
salvage CWS materiel and to provide second and third echelon main- 
tenance for chemical equipment. 70 The Morotai task force, named 
Tradewind, assembled for staging at Maffin Bay in Wakde-Sarmi 
sector of northwestern New Guinea before the end of August. On 1 1 
September the unit's depot team, including five maintenance men 
attached to infantry regiments to support flame thrower operations, 
embarked with the assault forces and landed with them on Morotai 
on the morning of 1 5 September. There was little organized Japanese 
resistance on the island as the combat troops moved rapidly forward 
and the service units, after some initial trouble with the approaches 
to the beaches, began organizing support areas. 76 The depot team of 
Unit 1 of the 240th, working like the rest of the task force under 
sporadic enemy air attack, brought up ammunition to a CWS mortar 
platoon, set up its bivouac area, and arranged for its dump to be sit- 
uated near the ordnance supply site. It was busy for the next few days 
locating and storing materiel, principally signal and incendiary 
grenades. 77 

74 History of the 240th Cml Composite Co. 

76 An. 5, Admin Order 1, Hq Tradewind Task Force, 25 Aug 44, cited in History of the 240th Cml 
Composite Co. 

76 See Smith, Approach to the Philippines, pp. 480-9}. 

77 History of the 240th Cml Composite Co. 



The remainder of Unit i joined the depot team on Morotai on n 
October, by which time the operation had been declared over and the 
work of building an air base was well under way. The unit continued 
operation of the CWS dump, put up warehouses with space for main- 
tenance operations, and did a brisk business in picking up and recon- 
ditioning gas masks. The unit remained in place on Morotai, attached to 
the 31st Division, until the last week in January 1945, when it joined 
the 3 3d Division and embarked for Luzon. 78 

Unit 2's first mission was not long behind that of Unit 1. This unit 
left New Guinea for Los Negros in the Admiralties at the beginning 
of October 1944, to join the 1st Cavalry Division as part of Sixth 
Army's invasion force for the reconquest of the Philippines. It 
promptly reembarked to join the Leyte invasion convoy. A-day for 
Leyte was 20 October, and that morning the 1st Cavalry Division 
landed as the northernmost element of the assault, securing White 
Beach just south of Tacloban, the island's capital. Unit 2 reached 
Leyte and landed at White Beach on A plus 2, 22 October, by which 
time the division was driving the enemy out of the Tacloban area. 
The unit's first task was getting 4.2-inch mortar ammunition to the 
85th Chemical Mortar Battalion, in the course of which operation it 
ran a beach ammunition dump. By mid-November it was in Tacloban, 
setting up a divisional CWS depot. The operation of this supply point 
constituted Unit 2*s mission for the remainder of the Leyte Campaign. 
At the end of January 1945 the unit was attached to XI Corps, which 
joined Sixth Army's Luzon Campaign by landing near San Narciso 
on 29 January to cut off Bataan. Unit 2 landed with the corps and 
set up a corps chemical warfare depot. 

Unit 3, after being first assigned to and then withdrawn from the 
Morotai invasion force, remained at the Maffin Bay staging area for 
the time being, providing depot support and flame thrower maintenance 
for the 123d Regimental Combat Team, then engaged in local opera- 
tions against the Japanese. In mid-November the unit went to 
Sansapor, at the northwest tip of New Guinea, to join the 6th Division, 
part of the force being staged for the invasion of Luzon. It spent the 
next weeks loading mortar shells and other CWS supplies on ships; 
inspecting, reconditioning, and test firing flame throwers; and training. 
The task force of which it was a part embarked on 30 December 1944. 

7> ibid. 



On the morning of 9 January 1945 the combat troops landed on the 
shores of Lingayen Gulf, north of Manila, 6th Division holding the 
center of the beachhead. There was no immediate enemy opposition. 
The men of Unit 3 began reaching the beaches some three hours after 
the first assault and immediately set to work organizing a CWS beach 
dump. A consolidated chemical dump for the 6th Division's beach- 
head was in operation by the next morning, supporting the division's 
4. 2 -inch mortar companies. Five days later a detachment set up an 
advance depot fifteen miles inland, and the task of moving mortar 
shells, grenades, and flame thrower fuel off the beaches was begun. 
A second inland depot was set up the following week, replacing the 
first. Regular forward movements of supply points followed at inter- 
vals of a few days. The unit's repairmen were kept busy maintaining 
the division's flame throwers. Supply and maintenance operations in 
close support of 6th Division continued without a break until the 
division was relieved on 30 April after three and a half months in 
action. 79 

Unit 4 remained at Cape Cretin, New Guinea, until mid-November 
1944. At that time, having been attached to the 40th Division, it 
proceeded to the division's stage area at Cape Gloucester, New 
Britain. The 40th, like the 6th, was scheduled to participate in the 
Luzon landings, and Unit 4, like Unit 3, spent the last weeks of 
November 1944 checking and loading mortar ammunition. The unit 
also placed 15 -man teams on dfetached duty with each of two mortar 
companies attached to the division. The 40th Division landed on the 
southwestern flank of Sixth Army's assault on the shore of Lingayen 
Gulf on the morning of 9 January. Two hours after the first assault 
wave hit the beach, personnel of Unit 4 began arriving ashore. The 
unit soon had a depot for Class II and Class IV CWS supplies in the 
town of Lingayen and an ammunition dump operating in conjunction 
with the divisional ordnance supply point. Both depot and ammunition 
dump were moved forward after two weeks, by which time the detach- 
ments had rejoined the main group, bringing Unit 4 up to its full 
strength. It continued in support of the 40th Division throughout 
February 194 5. 80 

By that time the 240th Chemical Composite Company had long 
ceased to be a unit in any operational sense. Its four segments were 

"History of the 237th Cml Serv Platoon. 
^History of the 238th Cml Serv Platoon. 



all on Luzon, but each was in support of a different outfit. Sixth Army 
had already come to the conclusion that it required nothing of compos- 
ite companies save the provision of platoon-size detachments for close 
divisional support. Under the circumstances there was little reason to 
retain company organization, especially in view of the fact that the 
basic TOE 3-500 could apply as well to an independent platoon as to 
a company. As had already happened in other cases, the decision was 
made to disband the 240th as a company and activate its units as 
separate composite platoons. Accordingly, as of 12 February 1945 the 
240th Chemical Composite Company ceased to exist. In its place there 
appeared, organized under the current TOE 3-500 (15 December 
1944), the 240th Chemical Service Platoon, formerly Unit 1, and the 
236th, 237th, and 238th Chemical Service Platoons, the erstwhile 
Units 2, 3, and 4, respectively. From then on the four platoons were 
for all practical purposes divisional chemical warfare elements and 
served through the remainder of the Philippines campaign in that 
capacity. 81 

Chemical Air Service Companies 

As in other respects, so in the field of chemical service operations the 
Army Air Forces functioned as a separate entity. The Air Forces had 
major CWS functions, as a potential principal user of toxic agents in 
the event of gas warfare, as a participant in smoke missions, and as the 
utilizer of the new CWS strategic weapon, the incendiary bomb. To 
assist in the execution of these chemical missions, the CWS organized 
and sent into the field several types of service units especially designed 
for Air Forces needs. Included among those seeing overseas service were 
chemical depot companies, chemical maintenance companies (both 
types bearing the additional designation "Aviation"), and the many 
chemical companies designated simply "Air Operations," one hundred 
of which were activated between 1942 and 1945. Half of these saw 
service in overseas theaters. Four of the fourteen maintenance com- 
panies, aviation, and all of the twenty depot companies, aviation, also 
went overseas. 

The air depot companies, like their ground counterparts, had as their 
principal mission the storage, surveillance, and preparation for issue 

81 The 236th (formerly Unit 2) was attached to the 38th Division, an element of XI Corps, on 23 
March 4$. 



Loading Liquid Smoke Into an MlO Smoke Tank for Aircraft, New 

of CWS materiel, in this case primarily bulk toxics, smoke mixtures, 
and incendiaries. Normal assignment was on the basis of one per AAF 
general depot when, as was usually the case, the depot in consideration 
was intended for storage and issue of chemical supply in appreciable 
quantities. A typical air depot company, the 754th, assigned to the 
VIII Air Force Service Command in England, had four sections: ad- 
ministrative, chemical, incendiary, and security maintenance. 82 The 
last three of these were respectively in charge of storage, surveillance, 
and filling of chemicals and chemical ammunition, storage and sur- 
veillance of incendiaries, and repair, maintenance, defense, and security 
details for the depot. The proper execution of these tasks called for a 
good deal of technical proficiency, especially in the handling and sur- 
veillance of toxics. Another air depot company in that command, the 

M T/0 3-418. 28 Feb 42. 



763 d, found that a depot company might be responsible not only for 
filling mustard bombs but for making up such items as M47A1 incen- 
diary bombs as well, using bomb casings, gasoline, and thickener. 83 

Chemical companies, air operations, in their organization and mission 
presented certain parallels to the composite companies of the ground 
forces. Like the latter, they were meant for close support of combat 
units and were organized on a cellular basis, with platoons (four to 
the company) capable of performing like missions on a self-sustaining 
basis when attached separately to units of appropriate size. The major 
missions of air operations companies were to maintain CWS ammuni- 
tion storage dumps, to prepare and arm chemical munitions for combat 
use and (in practice) to load such munitions on the using aircraft. The 
recommended normal basis of assignment was one air operations com- 
pany per group or one platoon per squadron. A platoon consisted of 
a headquarters team and four identical operations teams, which were 
essentially toxic-filling outfits. In addition to its headquarters and 
its four platoons, the air operations company included a distributing 
point section to operate its dump; this group included at least two 
men trained in decontamination techniques and equipped with a 
power-driven decontaminating apparatus. 84 The processes involved in 
handling, arming, and loading CWS bombs, bomb clusters, and spray 
tanks required a good deal of technical training and special equipment. 85 

Air operations companies were not infrequently faced with unan- 
ticipated tasks. For example, companies in the SWPA used a newly 
developed spray tank (the E2B25, produced by the Far East Air 
Force Service Command) not only for smoke operations but for the 
spraying of DDT over areas rendered hazardous by the presence of 
insect-borne malaria or typhus. 86 

In the last months of the Pacific war aerial incendiaries played an 
increasingly important role in both the strategical and tactical spheres. 
The assault on Iwo Jima, for example, was preceded by a 10-week 
bombardment by planes based in the Marianas; incendiary bomb 
clusters formed a significant part of their load. Air operations com- 

^Conf Rpt } The Opn, Duties, and Function of a Cml Depot Co, Avn, 22-23 F*k 43- Eighth AF 
yio.fioj-Nov 43. 

84 TOE 3^457, 29 Sep 44. An earlier version, 1 July 1942, differed in providing for platoons with 
two large operations teams apiece. 

^Capt Louis E. Schueler, 876th Cml Co AO, The Cml Co, Air Opns. Eighth AF 520.805-Nov 43. 

88 Col Augustin M. Prentiss, Jr., Cml Warfare History of Fifth Air Force-Far East Air Forces. 
CWS 314.7 F^th AF. 



panies supporting the bomber formations increased the supply of 
incendiaries by improvising fire bombs from 5 5 -gallon drums filled 
with napalm and armed with an Mi 5 WP grenade and an all-ways 
fuze. The fuzing of this unfamiliar weapon was the source of so much 
concern to the air crews that at first they insisted that CWS personnel 
accompany the flights to keep an eye on the incendiaries. The air 
operations companies always loaded incendiaries into planes and, when 
necessary, were called upon to modify bomb bays to accommodate 
particular types of incendiary bomb clusters. 87 In the early months of 
1945 incendiary raids on a vast scale carried the war direct to the 
industrial centers of Japan. In their support of these crippling blows, 
the air operations companies contributed significantly to the final 

"Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col Alfred J. Green, USAR, ij Sep J9- 


Large Area Smoke Screens in the 


It was the fate of the Chemical Warfare Service to enter World 
War II with rather ill-defined responsibilities, a circumstance accented 
by the absence of its most clearly defined mission — gas warfare. As a 
consequence, responsibilities were delineated and missions took shape 
as the necessity for meeting new conditions actually arose in the theaters 
of operations. A case in point was large area screening. The tremendous 
development in air power between the world wars produced a situation 
which made the concealment of ground targets a prime necessity. 
Clues pointing to this development were apparent in the 1930*5 but 
for various reasons little had been done to prepare for large area 
screening. The first adequate American smoke generator did not 
appear until 1942. Once the generators were in the theaters, a chain 
of circumstances created smoke missions which were unknown even 
in the tentative doctrine of the prewar period. 

Background of Large Area Screening 
Experiment and Trial 

Although the employment of small quantities of smoke in combat 
was an ancient military technique, its use to conceal extended areas 
was a twentieth century innovation. The term large area screen is 
quite imprecise. The size of a large area screen depends upon the 
nature and size of the target to be obscured. The screen had to be 
large enough to baffle enemy bombardiers; if it were too small it would 
merely pinpoint vital areas. The technical aspects of large-scale smoke 
screening had been a CWS concern from the time that service received 
the smoke mission in 1920. The most immediate interest was in the 
development of agents and munitions to support tactical operations. 
Because initial CWS experiments in area screening along the Panama 



Canal were unsuccessful, the search for agents and means of dissemi- 
nating area screens continued sporadically until 1936 when the War 
Department decided that with the means available large area screening 
was not practicable. 1 

The high importance placed on hemisphere defense by the Rainbow 
plans of 1939 " revived War Department interest in providing passive 
defense for the vulnerable areas of the Panama Canal. On 1 July 1940 
the War Department directed Maj. Gen. Walter C. Baker, Chief, 
Chemical Warfare Service, to submit an estimate of the costs of devel- 
opment, installation, and maintenance of smoke screening apparatus 
required for concealing the three locks. By the end of the month the 
War Department sent this estimate to the commanding general, Panama 
Canal Department, for comments. The Air Corps commander in the 
Canal Zone favored the project in principle but had some reservations. 
The commanding general of the Panama antiaircraft defenses opposed 
any extensive use of smoke which might nullify the effectiveness of 
antiaircraft fire. The department chemical officer advised his com- 
mander that in view of the lack of information about the effectiveness 
of large area screens it would be unwise to plan a costly screening 
installation for the three locks. The matter was held in abeyance. 3 
Nevertheless, two points had emerged from the Panama studies. First, 
technical means for generating artificial clouds were inadequate. 
Second, there was serious opposition by commanders to the employ- 
ment of smoke during air raids. Until a better means of smoke produc- 
tion was devised, a mutually satisfactory decision about smoke employ- 
ment was impossible. 

At that time, the war in Europe provided actual combat tests of the 
use of smoke. Before mid- 1940 British interest in large area screening 
had been rather theoretical — an interesting proposition but hardly 
practicable. 4 When the German invasion of the Low Countries and 

1 (1) Phosphorus, chlorosulfonic acid, and hexachlorethane (HC) had been the agents tested- (2) 
For a review of large area smoke tests at Panama from 192 1 to 1939, see OCCWS Tech Study 23, Use 
of Smoke to Screen Panama Canal Locks, 18 Jul 40 (rewritten 9 Jul 41). (3) Special Folder on 
Smoke Screen Experiments in Panama [192 1-3 1]. CWS Ret 470.6/2491. 

s MatIoff and Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-42, pp. 7-8. 

a (1) Ltr, CmlO Panama Canal Dept to CCWS, 1 Oct 40, sub: Use of Smoke to Screen Panama 
Canal Locks. (2) Memo, CmlO PCD for ExecO OCCWS, 8 Oct 40, no sub. Both in CWS Ret 
470.6/ f7-*3i* 

* (1) Statement, Dir of Weapons and Vehicles (Br) for Asst Chief Imperial General Staff, ca. 1 May 
43. CWS 314.7 Smoke Opns. (2) The various smoke devices developed by the British are discussed 
in TDMR 396, Jun 42. Tech Lib ACmlC, Md. 



France in the spring of 1940 provided the Luftwaffe with airfields 
within easy reach of the United Kingdom, the British gave serious 
attention to the possibility of using smoke to conceal vital installations. 
At first, the British Ministry of Home Security, responsible for screen- 
ing vulnerable targets, provided oil-burning orchard smudge pots for 
targets in Birmingham and Coventry. It waived smoke abatement 
orders so as to increase the industrial haze, no longer the public nuisance 
it had been in time of peace. The Admiralty Fuel Experimental Station 
at Haslar, England, later developed the first large-capacity oil-burner 
generator, cumbersome and inefficient but the best smoke producer 
available at the time. 

The typical British large area smoke installation in 1941 consisted of 
several thousand stationary smudge-type oil pots and a few Hasler 
generators which gave body to the screen from upwind positions. 
Although requirements for oil, all of which had to be imported, and 
manpower were heavy, area screening proved well worthwhile. In 
addition to military advantage, smoke became an important factor in 
maintaining the morale of factory workers, especially in munitions 
plants. Employees sometimes demanded smoke, despite its incon- 
venience, as the price of continuing to work at night. 5 

Beginnings of Large Area Screening in the United States 

The gradual transition of area screening from theory to practice was 
observed with interest in the United States. The Chemical Warfare 
Service carefully surveyed the development of European equipment 
and screening techniques and, with the Army Air Corps and other 
Army elements, investigated the problems which would accompany 
the development of large area screening. 

In mid- 1 940 the only smoke-producing munitions available to the 
U.S. Army were smoke shells, pots, grenades, and airplane smoke tanks. 
These munitions were satisfactory for establishing transitory curtains 
and could be used to a limited extent for blanketing enemy positions, 
but they were unsuitable for maintaining smoke screens over wide areas 
of friendly terrain because of the limited amount of smoke they pro- 
duced and because artillery and mortar shells could not be impacted 

B (1) Thomas K. Sherwood, NDRC, Div B } Rpt 197 (OSRD 43*), Rpt on Screening Smokes, CVS- 
17, 3 Mar 42, passim. Tech Lib ACmlC, Md. (2) British Historical Monograph, Special Weapons 
and Types of Warfare, Part TI A, gives a complete picture of the development of smoke missions and 
munitions in Great Britain. 



near friendly troops. Moreover, smoke from the HC-filled pots was 
harassing at best and in concentrated amounts could be quite toxic. 
Following the British lead, the CWS adapted the commercial smudge 
pot which was standardized as the Mi stationary oil generator. CWS 
scientists and later those of the National Defense Research Committee 
(NDRC) became interested in more efficient smoke production tech- 
niques. In 1942 there appeared an entirely new type of smoke gen- 
erator, one which emitted a "smoke" composed of small particles of 
oil created when a superheated oil-vapor mixture condensed upon 
ejection into the air. Production began on this generator in September 
1942, and it was standardized as the Mi mechanical smoke generator 
(often called the Esso, after the company which produced it) in the 
following December. 6 

In December 1941 the Chemical Warfare Board undertook a study 
of large area smoke concealment with particular application to Edge- 
wood Arsenal. Within a few days after the Pearl Harbor attack 
General Porter instructed the board to expand its objectives to include 
the general principles and techniques of screening, a project which was 
given highest priority. 7 The investigations of the Chemical Warfare 
Board soon had proceeded far enough to establish several tentative 
principles of rear area screening. Observation from the air revealed 
that smoke at night changed the appearance of both natural and arti- 
ficial terrain features. Smoke was of less value during daylight and 
might even accentuate vital targets. Blackouts would still have to be 
maintained at night because bright lights were visible through the 
smoke; in other words, rear area screening was supplementary to the 
blackout, not a substitute for it. And, finally, screening, while appre- 
ciably reducing visibility, would not eliminate observation from the 
air. 8 

After the completion of the Edgewood tests, the CWS felt better 
prepared to provide technical supervision of smoke installations in the 
zone of interior, which the Operations Division, War Department 
General Staff, was finding difficult to establish because of shortages of 

* (1) Sec Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From Laboratory to field, for a detailed account of research 
and development activities and technical details of these generators, (a) James P. Baxter 3d, Scientists 
Against Time (Boston; Little, Brown and Co., 1947), pp. 282-89. (3) Barker Ltr, 13 Dec 58. 

7 Ltr, Chief Field Serv OCCWS to President Cml Warfare Bd, through CG Edgewood Arsenal, 19 
Dec 41, sub: Study of Large Area Smoke Screen Technique. CWS 470.6/1554 CWB Proj 251. 

8 Ltr, President Cml Warfare Bd to Chief Phila Ord Dist, 2 Jan 42, sub: Smoke as Protective Con- 
cealment. CWS 470.6/1554 CWB Proj 251. Further tests early in 1942 substantiated these findings. 



men and materiel. The commanding generals of the several defense 
commands forwarded screening requests, arranged in order of impor- 
tance, to the War Department, which compiled all requests, giving 
each a priority rating. The CWS aided OPD in this task by performing 
feasibility surveys for each proposed installation. 9 

Meanwhile, the CWS recommended the activation of thirty-four 
chemical smoke generator companies. On 8 April the first three units 
(the 75th, 76th, and 77th Companies) were formed and, before their 
training was completed, received the mission of concealing aircraft 
plants in California. By the end of May the War Department had 
authorized the activation of 11 companies to be stationed as follows: 
6 with the Western Defense Command; 3 in Panama; one at the 
Sault Ste. Marie Locks; and one, an experimental unit, at Edgewood 
Arsenal. 10 By 20 July a total of 14 companies had been activated, 9 
located on the west coast of the United States. 

Each of these early smoke units, organized under a table of organiza- 
tion calling for 4 officers and 196 enlisted men and 3,600 Mi stationary 
smoke generators (the smudge pot type) 11 was capable of blanketing 
an area of about four square miles. Generators were employed in two 
or more concentric smoke lines which completely surrounded the vital 
area, allowing for wind from any direction. By the proper placement 
of additional generators and by use of an electrical ignition system, a 
substantial amount of smoke could be formed in about ten minutes. 

When the United States entered the war the long-standing Panama 
Canal screening project was immediately revived. At the time, the 
smoke pot was the only screening munition available and it required 
too many men to make a Panama smoke installation feasible. 12 The sta- 
tionary generator proved more satisfactory, and, as a consequence, Lt. 
Gen. Frank M. Andrews, Caribbean Defense Command, recommended 
that plans for screening in the Department be implemented as soon as 
possible. 13 By 1 January 1943 two smoke generator companies had 

•Memo, Maj D. R. King, OCCWS, for Col James W. Rice, Cml Warfare Bd, 5 May 4^ subi VD 
Policy With Reference to Rear Area Smoke Screens. CWS 470.6/1554 CWB Pr°i 

LO Ltr, TAG to CCWS, 25 May 42, sub: Request for Authority for Activation of Cml Smoke Gen- 
erator Cos, and 1st Jnd. CWS Ret 320.2/207, 

u T/0 5-267, 1 Apr 42. 

"Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col Harold Walmsley, iy Feb 48. 

"Ltr, CG AGF to CG SOS, 19 Jun 42, sub: Stationary Smoke Generators for Large Area Screen, and 
2d Ind, CCWS to CG SOS. CWS Ret 470.6/271 1-2754. An electrical ignition system further re- 
duced the necessary manpower. 



arrived in Panama equipped with the Mi mechanical generator. Used 
in conjunction with the stationary generator, this new equipment 
greatly eased the situation on the smoke lines. 

In July 1942, with a practical means of screening assured, General 
Porter made several recommendations on plans for rear area screening 
which were approved by the General Staff. The War Department 
ordered that additional smoke generator companies be activated to 
bring the total to 42. These new units were to train at the CWS 
Replacement Training Center at Camp Sibert, where large area screen- 
ing exercises could be freely conducted. 14 By August 1942 troop basis 
planning provided for the employment of 12 companies in theaters of 
operations, 3 in Panama, and 14 by the defense commands in the zone 
of interior. Activation of chemical smoke generator companies con- 
tinued at the rate of about 3 a month until February 1943, when a 
total of 40 had been organized. 

Defensive screening operations during 1942 consisted of the estab- 
lishment of zone of interior smoke installations and the development 
of screening readiness in Panama. Operations at the Sault Ste. Marie 
locks 15 and at Camp Edwards, Mass., were primarily for experimental 
purposes, both tactical and technical. The requirement for smoke 
installations in the Western Defense Command began to decline after 
the defeat of the Japanese fleet in the Battle of Midway in June 1942 
and ended with the increase in American air power during the early 
months of 1943. Smoke was never made in anger in the United States. 
But the anxious period after 7 December 1941 provided the impetus 
for rapid progress in the development of materiel and the organization 
of units. This was a necessary prelude to overseas screening operations. 

Initial Operations: The Northwest African Ports 

Early on the morning of 8 November 1942 British and American 
forces attacked Northwest Africa. The assault operations consisted 
of three distinct parts. The Western Task Force, entirely American 
and combat loaded in the United States, struck the coast of French 
Morocco in the vicinity of Casablanca. The Center and Eastern Task 

u (1) Memo, CCWS for ACofS OPD WDGS, 20 Jul 42, sub: 1942 Over-all Plan for Rear Area 
Smoke Screen Protection. (2) 1st Ind, ACofS for Opns SOS to CCWS, ti Aug 42. Both in CWS Ret 
320.2/ 207. 

15 Originally the purpose of smoke operations at Sault Ste. Marie was protection, not testing. Memo, 
Capt Howard P. McCormick, CVS, for Gen Wilson, 31 Mar 42. 



Forces, mounted in Great Britain, had as their respective targets the 
Mediterranean ports of Oran and Algiers. 16 The initial French resist- 
ance soon ceased, and the British- American forces turned east toward 

By then the United States Army had attained a capability in large 
area screening which a year earlier would have seemed impossible. A 
new generator, the Mi, had been devised, units were being activated 
to operate it, and the doctrine for its employment — the concealment 
of vital rear area installations — had become an accepted feature in the 
defense against air attack. The Northwest African campaign was to 
provide the crucial test of combat for this generator, these units, and 
this mission. 

Although the Luftwaffe failed to react to the landings in Northwest 
Africa, enemy planes in the succeeding months raided Algiers and other 
ports to the east in an effort to disrupt Allied supply lines. Both the 
United States and Great Britain supplied troops and munitions for the 
large area screening mission. Shortly before, the British No. 24 smoke 
pot had been dubbed "the savior of Malta" for its part in shielding the 
island's harbor from concentrated enemy air attacks. 17 The Americans 
provided the Mi smoke pot and the Mi mechanical smoke generator, 
smaller and more efficient and maneuver able than the large British 
Haslar. 18 These two generators, the primary equipment of the units 
performing the smoke mission, were to form the nucleus of the smoke 
installations at the Northwest African ports. 

Because smoke was not required, no American smoke units partici- 
pated in the initial landings, a fortunate circumstance in view of the 
limited number of available units. Elements of the 78th Smoke Gen- 
erator Company did arrive at Casablanca on 1 3 November, five days 
after the shooting began. 19 The company set up a smoke installation 
on 23 November which served principally for demonstration purposes. 20 

w Howe, Northwest Africa, provides the complete story of the Northwest African campaign. 
"London Mil Attache Rpt 56781, 12 May 43, sub: Area Smoke Screening, app. B. 

u The Mi mechanical generator weighed 3,000 pounds empty and 7,400 pounds when filled, that is, 
complete with fog oil, fuel oil, and water. Troops could operate in its smoke with no adverse effects. 
The Mi smoke pot contained 10 pounds of HC smoke mixture and burned from j to 10 minutes. An 
improved model, the M1A1, appeared in 1944. The longer burning Mj pot was developed later in the 

"78th Cml Smoke Generator Co History, 1942, p. 1. This detachment of the 78th embarked in six 
different vessels and had smoke generators ready for emergency use. 

"Ltr, CO 78th Smoke Generator Co to CmlO Western Task Force, 30 Nov 42, sub: Report of Test 
Run CVS 314.7. 



The first smoke company to see action in Northwest Africa was the 
69th Smoke Generator Company. It landed at Oran on 2j December, 
and on the following day it relieved a detachment of engineer troops 
which, using British No. 24 smoke pots, had maintained a smoke line 
in the harbor since 9 November. 21 By February 1943 both the 78th 
and the 69th Companies were at Algiers where they successfully 
operated their Mi mechanical generators in conjunction with a British 
company equipped with Haslars. 22 

All told, ten major North African ports had the benefit of smoke 
installations manned by troops from the United States, Great Britain, 
and France. 23 These operations were not simultaneous but represented 
a steady movement eastward as the Allied troops, in conjunction with 
those under Generals Sir Harold R. L. G. Alexander and Montgomery, 
converged on the Axis concentrations in Tunisia. Bizerte, although 
captured just before complete victory in Northwest Africa, served as 
one of the chief marshaling ports for the invasion of Sicily and later 
Italy, thus becoming one of the Mediterranean's most heavily screened 
ports. A British smoke unit was waiting on the outskirts of Bizerte 
on 7 May as the II U.S. Corps was capturing the city, and within 
twelve hours the port was screened. By the end of June all four of the 
American smoke generator companies in the theater were providing 
the smoke defenses for Bizerte. In addition to the 69th and 78th these 
were the 168th and ijzd, just arrived from the United States and still 
without generators. 24 

Smoke installations usually consisted of two rings, the size of- which 
depended upon the area to be screened. An inner ring of smoke pots 
provided for the quick concealment of vital targets while an outer 
ring of mechanical generators built the main element of the smoke 
blanket. Pots were also used to fill in gaps in a blanket caused by 
shifting winds or by other unforeseen conditions. Smoke was made 
at night only; during the day fighter aircraft provided protection for 
the dock areas of the harbors. 

31 69th Cml Smoke Generator Co History, Jun 42-Apr 44, p. 2. 
a CVS TofO Ltr No. 12, ji Mar 44, Inch 4. 

* J A detailed account of the screening operations in Northwest Africa as well as of those in Italy, 
described later in this chapter, can be found in Paul W. Pritchard, CmlC Hist Study No. 1, Smoke Gen- 
erator Opns in the Mediterranean and European Theaters of Opn, 1949, pp. J 6-8 3 . 

24 Also arriving in June were the 24th and 25 th Chemical Decontamination Companies, in the theater 
as insurance against the introduction of gas by the enemy but well trained in the smoke mission. 



Early on the morning of 6 July 1943, with Bizerte's port, channel, 
outer harbor, and bay crowded with ships for the impending invasion 
of Sicily, the Luftwaffe attacked with a force of more than sixty 
aircraft. The smoke units had nine minutes warning. At 0409 the 
German bombers began their run on the smoke-obscured targets. 
Despite intense antiaircraft fire the enemy kept up an almost uninter- 
rupted attack for thirty-six minutes. At 0445 the bombers withdrew, 
and the order to "cease smoke" came shortly after. During the 
6 j -minute smoking period the units expended 4,135 gallons of fog 
oil and 53j British smoke pots. Although the enemy bombed several 
dumps and inflicted about a score of casualties outside the screen, no 
bombs fell within the vital area. The ships and docks were untouched 
and the channel remained open. 28 

In August two of the four American smoke units were alerted for 
the Sicilian operation. In September the remaining American com- 
panies sailed for Italy, and British troops manned the Bizerte screen 
until their relief by French units in January 1944. 

By concealing the harbors and port facilities from Algiers to Sfax 
from enemy air bombardment, American and British smoke companies 
played a limited yet important part in the Northwest African cam- 
paign. The extent of the smoke operations depended upon the clearness 
of the night, the military traffic at a port facility, and the degree of 
enemy air activity. The Luftwaffe succeeded in sinking a few ships 
in these harbors and caused some damage to port installations, but its 
attacks on the ports in Northwest Africa were largely without effect. 29 

This first combat experience entirely justified the hopes of the 
designers of the mechanical generator. It produced substantial clouds 
of persistent white "smoke" with comparative speed. Although the 
weight of the generator required vehicular transportation and its fuel 
requirements were substantial, these were but modest logistical con- 
siderations compared with the results obtained. 

Perfecting the Technique: The Italian Ports 

The port of Naples was the initial Allied objective after Anglo- 
American forces had secured a foothold in southern Italy. The logistical 

25 (1) 69th Cm\ Smoke Generator Co History, Jun 42-Apr 44. (2) 78th Cml Smoke Generator Co 
History, 1943. 

"Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, 30 Nov 45, pp. 106-07. 




December 1943 

*•*#•■ SMOK£ POTS 

12 14 MILES 

f t 1 r S i 1 1 

O i E 3 * ifiLOtfETEJIfi 

MAP 3 

considerations that demanded taking the port city naturally required 
the uninterrupted flow of supplies into its spacious harbor. The smoke 
installation that aided in this task was the most comprehensive of its 
kind in the war. And it had the benefit of the experience gained in 
screening the ports of Northwest Africa. 

The vital shipping area at Naples included the port and harbor of 
the city itself, the port area at suburban Bagnoli, and the fine harbor 
at Po£Zuoli in the Bay of Baiae. (Map 3) The smoke installation 
began operations in October 1943, reached a climax late in the year, 
and tapered off by the following summer as Allied successes farther 
to the north helped reduce the possibility of heavy enemy air attacks. 



At its height the smoke lines were manned by the 163d, 164th, 168th, 
17 2d, and 179th Smoke Generator Companies, the 24th Decontamina- 
tion Company, and the British 807th (SM) Company — in all, about 
1,000 officers and enlisted men. 

At first, no common headquarters existed to direct the activities of 
these units, a fact which soon led to the establishment of a provisional 
smoke generator battalion headquarters. 27 Although an improvement, 
this "provisional" headquarters was not the answer. The lack of status 
and the inadequate capability of this provisional unit, led by the senior 
smoke generator company commander, finally impelled the theater 
in March 1944 to request the assignment of a headquarters and head- 
quarters detachment, chemical smoke generator battalion. This unit 
was urgently needed, the theater said, to provide centralized control 
over the several smoke companies in such matters as technical operations 
and administrative and logistical support. As a result, Headquarters 
and Headquarters Detachment, zid Chemical Smoke Generator Bat- 
talion, was activated on 5 May 1944. 28 

The smoke installation in the Naples complex included three sectors, 
each with inner and outer rings. The inner ring at Naples proper 
consisted of 370 British smoke pot positions and 14 Besler gen- 
erators, a Navy generator, small, efficient, and much like the Army's 
Mz which would appear later. The outer ring, about six miles long, 
included 86 mechanical generators. The Bagnoli sector had 100 smoke 
pot and 38 mechanical generator positions, the Pozzouli, 48 mechanical 
generators. The smoke from these installations blended into one massive 
screen extending at times for a distance of twenty miles. As in the 
case of the North African ports, smoke was used during the night and 
during the periods of twilight. The prevalent winds at these times 
were offshore, an ideal condition for the land-based generators, although 
ten craft loaded with floating M4 smoke pots were ready to cover any 
gaps caused by occasional breezes from the sea. Air turbulence from 
two nearby land masses created constant difficulty in the development 
of an adequate screen. One of these was the volcano Vesuvius whose 
mass and glow, according to captured German pilots, provided the 

27 Technical and administrative problems of the American companies initially were handled by- 
Colonel Barker, Fifth Army chemical officer, and later by Colonel Coblentz of the Peninsular Base 

M (1) CM-IN 13125, 18 Mar 44. (2) Ltr, TAG to CG NATO, 30 Mar 44, sub: Constitution and 
Activation of Hq and Hq Detachment, 2 2d Cml Smoke Generator Bn. AG 322 (28 Mar 44) OB-L- 
SPMOU-M. (3) GO 80, Peninsular Base Sec, 4 May 44. 



additional disservice of furnishing guides to attacking enemy bombers. 29 
Smoke orders came from the British 45 th AA Brigade charged with 
the port defense. 30 

Enemy air raids were frequent and heavy at Naples, but its defenses 
— fighters, flak, and smoke — combined to blunt the effectiveness of 
the attacks. On the night of 26 November, for example, the screen 
confused and delayed the enemy flare laying aircraft to such an extent 
that the bomber formation released its load without benefit of flares. 
As a result, none of the bombs did damage, most of them falling into 
the bay. 31 

Although there was a letup in the number of air raids on Naples 
during the last half of March and April 1944, the tempo increased in 
May with the Allied drive on Rome, and the port was screened fourteen 
times. During one of the spring raids about 113 merchant ships and 
60 naval craft were shielded by smoke in the ports and anchorages at 
Naples, all of which escaped damage. 32 According to the AFHQ 
intelligence bulletins this was not exceptional; the screening activities 
at Naples were generally effective. 33 

As the Germans fell back before the Allied offensive their air attacks 
against Naples practically ceased. The smoke installation was gradually 
reduced to a single ring of pots around the harbor, manned by Italian 
personnel. Some of the American smoke units began to prepare for 
operation against southern France; others moved north to new ports, 
now that Naples was no longer able to supply efficiently the troops 
above Rome. During the advance northward the Fifth Army captured 
Civitavecchia, Piombino, and Leghorn, ports which upon repair were 
pressed into service to relieve the supply situation. Civitavecchia 
required but a small screen and that for a short time. The 179th Smoke 
Generator Company saw brief service there before moving to Piombino, 
where in June it joined with the ijid Company in manning the smoke 
installation. 34 

"Colonel Barker toyed with the idea of concealing Vesuvius with 4. 2-inch mortar shell, a plan soon 
discarded as impracticable. 

"Fifth Army Cml Sec Daily Jnl, 18 Dec 43. 
81 CWS TofO Ltr No. 12, 31 Mar 44, p. 48. 

"AFHQ, History of AA and Tactical Smoke Screening in North Africa and Italian Theaters Between 
1 Jan and 31 Dec 44, pp. 7-8. 

*"An evaluation based upon about fifty AA intelligence bulletins issued between October 1943 and 
May 1944 by the 12th Antiaircraft Artillery Brigade. 

** AFHQ, History of AA and Tactical Smoke Screening in North Africa and Italian Theaters Between 
1 Jan and 31 Dec 44, p. 8. 



Activity at both of these ports subsided when the facilities at 
Leghorn, captured on 19 July, were repaired and gradually put into 
operation. Within a week the 179th Smoke Generator Company, to 
be joined shortly by three British companies, erected a screen at 
Leghorn. Initially, Leghorn represented a unique example of rear area 
screening in that it remained for some time within range of enemy 
artillery on the north bank of the Arno River. On 28 July the 17 2d 
Company moved up from Piombino and deployed in a 7-mile arc at 
a distance approximately five miles north and northeast of the city. 
The haze from the generators, just as in the Anzio operation, 30 denied 
to the enemy observation of port and road traffic. The company main- 
tained the line, sometimes despite the objections of the Royal Navy 
in the port, for thirty-eight days, by which time the enemy had with- 

a= See below, pp. 1 3 3 6-40. | 



drawn from his Arno River positions. The smoke installation at the 
port itself was continued until April 194 5. 38 

Leghorn marked the end of American participation in port screening 
in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Rear area missions grad- 
ually petered out with the diminished effectiveness of the Luftwaffe. 
The 17 id and 179th Smoke Generator Companies, by now the only 
U.S. smoke units in Italy, turned to a type of employment that had 
evolved earlier in the theater — the use of smoke in forward areas. But 
before the development of that mission smoke units had been used in 
assault landings. 

The Changing Mission: Smoke in Amphibious and 
Beachhead Operations 


The fighting in Italy proper saw an immediate extension of what 
had been the normal mission of smoke units. Thus far, in doctrine and 
experience, large area screens had concealed rear area installations 
exclusively. At Salerno smoke troops landed on D-day in support of 
the combat elements. 37 

The Fifth Army landings in the Gulf of Salerno, just around the 
Sorrento Peninsula from Naples, represented the first foothold of 
American troops on the mainland of Europe. Two corps participated 
in the attack — the British 10 on the left and the U.S. VI on the right. 
The 36th Infantry Division, forming the assault element of the 
American corps, drew as its objective the beaches near the town of 
Paestum. 38 

Each of the assault battalions, storming ashore early on 9 September 
1943, carried about 200 M4 smoke pots. 39 Dropped in the water by 

* (1) Ltr, CO 172c! Cml Smoke Generator Co to CG Adv Hq Allied Armies in Italy, 13 Sep 44, 
sub: Report on Smoke Haze North of Leghorn. (2) Fifth Army Cml Sec Daily Jnl 28 Jul 44. (3) 
AFHQ, History of AA and Tactical Smoke Screening in North African and Italian Theaters Between 
1 Jan and 31 Dec 44, pp. 8-9, 11-12. 

OT The Salerno action is based on: (1) Fifth Army Cml Sec Daily Jnl, 9, io, 25 Sep 43, CMLHO; 
(2) Memo, Barker for CMLHO, 4 Feb 47, sub: Answers to Questions; (3) Lt Harrie A. James, 
USNR, Observations During Opn Avalanche, Center Task Force Southern Task Force, 24 Oct 43, 
CVS 3 14.7 Smoke Opns. 

w Details of this operation may be found in Martin Blumenson, Salerno to Cassino, a volume in 
preparation for the series UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD VAR II. 

*The M4 floating smoke pot (and improved models M4A1 and M4A2) consisted of a 5 -gallon pail 
containing twenty-six pounds of HC. This amount filled but one-third of the container, thus creating 
the necessary buoyancy. 



infantrymen, the floating munitions helped conceal succeeding landing 
craft; placed on the beaches they screened exposed flanks. Navy per- 
sonnel also employed smoke. Some support craft dropped pots; others 
were equipped with the Navy Besler smoke generator. This artificial 
smoke, combined with the morning mist and the haze of battle, created 
limited visibility. As a consequence, the enemy, with limited observa- 
tion, resorted to a curtain of unobserved fire placed just off the beaches. 
This was in decided contrast to the initial situation wherein individual 
landing craft were reported to have been sniped at by enemy 8 -inch 
guns. 40 

One CWS unit landed on D plus 2 as part of the beach force of VI 
Corps. The 24th Decontamination Company, under the 'direction of 
the naval task force, used Mi and M4 smoke pots to screen the 
beaches and anchorages. Later, the Navy gave the unit eight Besler 
generators, a number gradually increased to thirty-six. Standard prac- 
tice during the first week, when the issue was often in doubt, was to 
create smoke during the hours of evening and morning twilight and 
during moonlight, favorite times for German bombers to attack. 
During air raid alerts the smoke of the 24th Company usually was 
abetted by generators on naval craft. So effective was the smoke screen 
that beach and harbor were often concealed within three minutes of 
the alert. During the nights smoke came to assume the primary position 
among antiaircraft defenses. 

Average daily expenditures during the first week on the Salerno 
beaches were 250 Mi and 100 M4 smoke pots and y,ooo gallons of fog 
oil. One of the principal difficulties encountered was the burning glow 
of the smoke pots which often served as aiming points for enemy 
bombers. 41 

Despite this handicap the smoke mission received new respect in the 
strongly contested battle for the Salerno beachhead. Troops and land- 
ing craft welcomed anything that would make them less vulnerable, 
and the pots and generators manned by infantrymen, sailors, and CWS 

40 (1) James, Observations During Operation Avalanche, (i) Professor Morison does not mention 
smoke in his account of the battle although he includes a photograph (opposite page 1H1) of a PT 
(patrol boat, motor torpedo boat) boat laying smoke. (Samuel Eliot Morison, "History of United 
States Naval Operations in World War II," vol. IX, Sicily-Salerno- Anzio, January I94}-June 1944 
(Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1954), 

41 This objection was voiced by several Navy observers as cited in CWS Theater of Operations Letter 
No. 1 j, 21 June 1944, pages 16-17, 



troops provided effective concealment from enemy fire.* 2 It was the 
opinion of naval officers with the shore control party at Salerno that 
the smoke screen saved many lives and landing craft. 43 


The bold end run of Fifth Army's VI Corps at Anzio has provoked 
much debate among postwar strategists, both armchair and professional. 
At the time, its planners felt that this maneuver would be the best way 
to break the stalemate encountered in front of the formidable German 
defenses which formed the Gustav Line. Unfortunately, Operation 
Shingle fell far short of expectations. The enemy responded quickly 
to the "abscess" in its flank and contained the beachhead in beleagured 
impotency from its establishment on 22 January 1944 until the Allied 
breakout in the following May. 44 

As at Salerno, provision was made for a large area screen for the 
Anzio beachhead. Again as at Salerno, the 24th Decontamination 
Company was assigned this mission. The company, equipped with Mi 
and M4 pots and with eight Navy Besler generators, landed on D-day. 
On its first night ashore the unit smoked the beaches and anchorage, 
and within two days it had set up a smoke line almost two miles long. 
As the beachhead forces were augmented, other smoke troops, including 
a British unit and the U.S. 179th Smoke Generator Company, moved 
to Anzio to increase the size of the screen. 45 

Initially, smoke at Anzio was intended to be part of the antiaircraft 
screen. Experience had shown that a favorite enemy tactic was low 
level bomber attacks at dawn and at dusk. Consequently, it soon 
became standard practice to screen the port each day during the 
periods of dawn and dusk. The smoke troops also operated during red 
alerts at night, for smoke again proved to be the best antiaircraft 
defense during the hours of darkness. Throughout the first three weeks 
the Luftwaffe made at least one raid each night. Flares dropped by 

tt (1) AGF Board Rpt, pt. V, NATO, 10 Nov 43, cited in CWS TofO Ltr No. 9, 31 Dec 43, p. 10. 
(z) CWS TofO Ltr No. 12, 31 Mar 44, p. 32. 
"James, Observations During Opn Avalanche. 

44 Nevertheless, the Anzio landing had a concrete effect on the over-all German war strategy, for the 
enemy interpreted it as the first of a series of peripheral attacks aimed at dispersing German reserve 
forces in Europe. The enemy also reacted with special vigor in order to gain the prestige of destroying 
an Allied beachhead. Harrison, Cross-Channel Attack y pp. 232-33, 234. 

48 (1) Fifth Army History of Activities, 22 Jan 43. (2) AFHQ, History of AA and Tactical 
Smoke Screening in North African and Italian Theaters Between 1 Jan and 31 Dec 44, p. iz. 



lead planes seemed to be extinguished as they dropped into the screen. 
During daylight raids antiaircraft artillery and fighter planes consti- 
tuted the sole defense. 46 

The decrease in the number of enemy air raids after mid-February, 
caused by effective antiaircraft defenses, brought little relief to the 
port and beachhead at Anzio, for the reduction of air attacks was 
accompanied by an increase in long-range artillery fire. Along the 
periphery of the beachhead and in the bordering mountains were 
innumerable enemy observation posts. Farm houses suspected of har- 
boring German observers were demolished with 8 -inch howitzers, and 
towers and nearby ridges were blanketed by chemical mortar and 
artillery smoke shell. But the mountains in the background continued 
to afford the enemy unrestricted view of beach installations and ships 
in the harbor. Although the entire Allied beachhead lay within range 
of enemy guns, the air defense, artillery, and naval commanders at 
first objected to smoking the beach and harbor during daytime because 
of possible interference with observation for friendly gunfire and with 
the unloading of the ships in the anchorage. This valid complaint was 
something to be reckoned with. Yet the losses incurred from enemy 
bombers and artillery were also worth taking into account. From 22 
January through 10 February, for example, a daily average of almost 
twenty-eight tons of Allied ammunition was blown up by these means. 47 

To resolve this problem chemical officers, with the approval of Maj. 
Gen. Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., the corps commander, came up with a 
new technique for the mechanical smoke generator — the production 
of a light haze in the area between the harbor and the front lines, thin 
enough to permit normal operations within it, thick enough to prevent 
German observation from the encircling hills. 48 

To apply this technique the 179th Smoke Generator Company on 
18 March moved from the harbor area toward the forward positions. 
The smoke line, now forming a 15 -mile arc around the port, included 
nineteen generator positions on land and two generators mounted on 
Navy patrol craft in the harbor. \(Map 4)\ The latter prevented enemy 
observation from the flanks of the concave contour of the coast line. 

46 Col Walter A. Guild, 'That Damned Smoke Again," vol. LIV, No. 10, Infantry Journal (October, 
1944) pp. 25-28. (Colonel Guild served as VI Corps chemical officer during the Anzio operation.) 

"Anzio Beachhead, AMERICAN FORCES IN ACTION SERIES (Washington, 1947), P- "o. 

" (1) Ltr, CmlO AFHQ to OCCWS, 11 Mar 44, sub: Smoke at Anzio Bridgehead. (2) Guild, 
"That Damned Smoke Again/' Infantry Journal (October, 1944). 

After a period of trial, error, and compromise the smoke line was 
established just beyond the antiaircraft positions of the port and just 
short of the field artillery observation posts. The line was divided into 
four sections with generators spaced at 1,000-yard intervals. Smoke 
positions were connected by telephones, and each section had radio 
communication with the command post. The amount of smoke needed 
was determined by an observation tower in Nettuno, abetted at times 
by liaison planes borrowed from the artillery. Each hour an Air Forces 



meteorology section provided weather data. Operations began one-half 
hour before dawn and ended one-half hour after sunset. 49 

The result was a light haze which, regardless of wind direction, 
denied observation to the enemy without restricting movement within 
the beachhead. Under concealment of this haze trucks were driven 
off LST's (landing ships, tank) onto the beach, unloaded, and returned 
to the ships unmolested. This was a particularly important operation 
as the Allied troops at Anzio received an average of 3,500 tons of 
supplies a day for the 6 months after the January landings. 50 

Radio interception disclosed that German artillery was on the alert 
during daylight hours to take advantage of sudden wind changes which 
afforded brief views through the screen. Objections to the daylight 
screen which commanders had raised during the planning stage dis- 
appeared after the smoke operation began. Allied artillery units even 
requested and obtained additional daylight screening to hide the flash 
of guns, thus inaugurating a new mission for smoke generators. 61 
Another unusual mission of the 179th was in the interest of health. 
Generators, run at a reduced temperature for fifteen minutes during 
the morning and evening, spread a thin film of oil over the area. This 
oil film settled on the water and killed the larvae of the malarial mos- 
quito, long a menace in the area, 52 

Soldiers going ashore at Anzio sometimes did not realize that smoke 
was being used. Lt. Raymond C. Stillger, who landed with the 34th 
Infantry Division three days after the daylight screening began, thought 
that the haze was a result of either a natural morning mist or smoke 
and dust from the battlefield. He noted that the mountain ranges were 
not visible from the harbor and that the artillery fire which dropped 
offshore was ineffective. When his unit moved forward, Stillger saw 
that the haze rarely drifted to within a mile of his position, usually 
remaining well to the rear. This was good; the infantry did not want 
the smoke to its front lest the Germans counterattack under cover of 
the screen. During the two months which Stillger spent in the line, it 

48 (1) Guild, "That Damned Smoke Again," Infantry Journal (October, 1944) ■ (2) 179th Smoke 
Generator Co, Opnl Memo No. r, r Aug 44, sub: Method and Lessons Learned on the Anzio Beachhead. 
(3) Interv, Hist Off with Capt Morris W. Lofton, 13 Mar 46. (Captain Lofton, the author of the 
operational memo, served as operations officer of the 179th at Anzio.) 

60 Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, 30 Nov 45, p. 106. Beach gradients at Anzio per- 
mitted this ship-to-shore unloading. 

51 Ltr, CmlO Fifth Army to CCWS, 14 Apr 44, sub: Status of Cml Units in the Fifth Army. 

* l2 Opnl Memo No. 1, 179 th Smoke Generator Co. 



was necessary to request a reduction of smoke in his sector on only 
two occasions. At the rear it was a different story. After fighting in 
the mountains of southern Italy, the average infantryman felt un- 
covered on the Anzio plain and welcomed the concealment of smoke 
haze. 63 

While the large area screen at Anzio was not as decisive as some com- 
mentators would have one believe — "It [the mechanical smoke gen- 
erator] probably saved the Anzio beachhead. . . ." — 54 its value was 
nonetheless considerable. General Truscott commented on the effec- 
tiveness of the smoke, which was used extensively "to limit German 
observation and reduce the effectiveness of their artillery fires." 55 
German sources after the war testified to the effectiveness of the "well 
prepared and conducted" screening operations at Anzio which ob- 
structed observation and interfered with defensive and direct fire. 5fl 
Perhaps the situation was best summed up in the observations of Bill 
Mauldin's incomparable Willie and Joe. 

The Invasion of Southern France 

With the successful completion of the Sicilian operation in the sum- 
mer of 1943 the Seventh U.S. Army became nonoperational, its head- 
quarters reduced to caretaker status. 57 Then in January 1944 Allied 
Force Headquarters directed it to form a planning group for an oper- 
ation against southern France to be mounted sometime in the following 
May. After considerable debate at the highest echelons Dragoon 
(it was first called Anvil) was given a definite time, place, and 
implementing force. These were 15 August 1944, a series of beaches 
east of Toulon, and Seventh Army's VI Corps. 58 The corps got three 
experienced infantry divisions for the operation, the 3d, 45th, and 36th. 

Because of the mountains bordering the narrow beaches of the as- 
sault areas, the enemy could have excellent observation of the landing 

88 Interv, Hist Off with Capt Raymond C. Stillger, 29 Nov 50. 
N Baxter, Scientists Against Thne, p. 287. 

88 Lt. Gen. Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., Command Missions: A Personal Story (New York: E. P. Button, 
'954). P- 457* 

56 Herman Ochsner (formerly a major general in the German Army), CmlC Hist Study No. 2, 
History of German Cml Warfare in World War II, pt. I, The Military Aspect, p. 30. 

57 For a complete account of the invasion of southern France, see Robert Ross Smith, The Riviera to 
the Rhine, a volume in preparation for the series UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II. 

" w Report of Operations — The Seventh United States Army in France and Germany, 1944—194} (here- 
after cited as Seventh Army Opns in ETO) (Heidelberg, Germany: Heidelberg Gutenberg Printing Co., 
May 1946), I, chs. I-V, i-iij. 



force. Cognizant of the terrain and with the experience of Salerno and 
Anzio behind it, the Navy was eager to screen the assault force and 
anchorage from artillery fire and bomber aircraft* Its smoke plan, 
drawn up to provide concealment for beach and bay, was quite com- 
plete. Each Navy and merchant vessel had several means of producing 
smoke — with smoke pots, liquid smoke, and fog oil for the Besler 
generators furnished by Seventh Army's Chemical Section. 50 CWS 
troops attached to the assault divisions were prepared to land at H- 
hour, screen the flanks of the several beachheads, and be ready to 
conceal the assault boats in case of offshore winds. Once the landings 
were secure these CWS parties, under control of the engineer shore 
groups, would be ready to shield supply dumps and anchorage from 
air attack, 60 

The smoke troops again were to come from a chemical decontamina- 
tion company, this time the 21st. On 25 March 1944 the unit's 2d 
Platoon moved from Palermo to a beach near Oran, where it was at- 
tached to the 40th Engineer Combat Regiment to prepare for the 
invasion. Practice in assault landings and in the erection of beachhead 
smoke lines constituted the bulk of this unit's training. In turn, the 
Engineers gained the experience of working in a haze limiting visibility 
to fifty yards. By June the platoon rejoined the 21st in Italy where it 
passed on its recently acquired amphibious experience to its three 
sister platoons. 61 

During the last weeks of July and the first week of August the three 
divisions which were to make the assault and their supporting troops 
underwent brief but effective practice for the appointed task. 62 The 
culminating point was a full dress exercise in which the conditions 
expected on the beaches of southern France were realistically duplicated. 
Live ammunition, beach obstacles, and smoke screens helped to achieve 
authenticity. 83 

69 Seventh Army Cml Sec, Hist Rpt ( i Jan 44 to 31 Oct 44. A unique employment of the liquid 
smoke saw LCM's (landing craft, mechanized) equipped with a contraption which forced the FS smoke 
through an ejection pipe where it was dispersed in a cloud by the blast of an airplane propeller, 

w (1) Ibid. (2) Cml Annex to Field Order, 40th Engineer Combat Regt, 23 Jul 44 (included as 
an. 4 to the Seventh Army report.) 

m Seventh Army Cml Sec Hist Rpt, 1 Jan — 31 Oct 44, an. 199, in R. G. 207.3. 

88 Assignment of the platoons of the 21st Chemical Decontamination Company was as follows: the 
1st Platoon to the 36th Engineer Shore Group, 3d Division; the 2d to the 40th Engineer Shore Group, 
4jth Division; and the 3d to the 540th Engineer Shore Group, 36th Division. The 4th Platoon was 
held in corps reserve. (1) Ibid. (2) Seventh Army Opns in ETO, III, 909—10. 

68 Seventh Army Opns in ETO, I, 71-89. 



The ist Platoon, 21st Decontamination Company, received an extra 
amount of training because the 3d Division had detailed plans for the 
use of ground smoke during the initial phases. The additional work 
for the platoon, and for a detail of two officers and thirty enlisted men 
from the 3d Chemical Mortar Battalion which augmented the division's 
smoke troops, was aimed at producing physical hardness, self-reliance, 
and proficiency in tactics of the infantryman. 

The 3d Division's target area was the St. Tropez Peninsula. Eleva- 
tions here reached 1,000 to 1,500 feet, providing the defenders with 
excellent observation of the sea, the beaches, and the narrow strip of 
wooded dunes. The 3d Division's assault areas on the peninsula, desig- 
nated Red Beach and Yellow Beach, were both flanked by capes, a 
situation which enhanced the possibilities of German observation and 
provided the motive for the flanking screens of the attacking force. 
But if the terrain was unpropitious, its defense was another matter. 
Intelligence sources indicated that the enemy would not defend the 
area too strongly because of commitments in northwest France. More- 
over, the rather skimpy fixed defenses of the area were manned by non- 
German and limited service troops. 64 

Preceded by heavy naval and air bombardment the VI Corps landed 
on 15 August against light resistance. During the actual assault the 
Navy used smoke only in the 3d Division sector. Here smoke pots and 
generators in landing craft screened the flanks of the boat lanes and 
concealed incoming craft from enemy fire. Each of the four smoke 
details, two per beach, was to land at H-hour in an LCT. Training 
trials had demonstrated that under favorable conditions the detach- 
ments with their allotments of 1,200 Mi smoke pots could unload in 
about five minutes. It was hoped that the final stage of the trip to 
the beach would take place in specially buoyed medium tanks which 
were on the LCT's. If this were not possible the pots were to be 
floated ashore in rubber boats, or, in an extreme case, the packing boxes 

** The account of smoke operations in the 3d Division sector is based on: (1) Lcr, CmlO 3d Div to 
CmlO Seventh Army, 20 Sep 44, sub: Ground Use of Smoke Pots, M1A1, During Opn Dragoon; (2) 
Lcr, ACmlO 3d Div to CmlO 3d Div, 18 Sep 44, sub: Use of Smoke on Red Beach for the Dragoon 
Opn; (3) Ltr, Platoon Leader, 2d Platoon, 21st Cml Decontamination Co to CO 21st Cml Decon- 
tamination Co, 16 Sep 44, sub: Platoon Opn; (4) Ltr, Platoon Leader, ist Platoon, 21st Cml Decon- 
tamination Co to CO 2 ist Cml Decontamination Co, 16 Sep 44, sub: Opns of ist Platoon, 21st Cml 
Decontamination Co, 15-30 Aug 44; (5) 3d Cml Mortar Bn, Histories, Italy, 1-14 Aug 44, and 
Campaign of Southern France, 15-31 Aug 44. 



with the pots enclosed could be tied in tandem and towed ashore by 

The smoke detail on the left flank of Red Beach was led by Lt. 
Frank J. Thomas, commanding the ist Platoon, 2 rst Company. 
According to plan, four amphibious tanks carried the men across the 
beach to the railroad about ijo yards beyond. Fanning out to four 
positions at 100-yard intervals, the detail began operations within ten 
minutes of landing. The smoke line was gradually pushed inland to 
a road 250 yards from the beach. Until this time the smoke troops 
had not received enemy fire, but now mortar and small arms fire caused 
one casualty. No casualties were suffered in the heavily mined 
woods through which the smoke troops passed to reach the road. 

The detachment from the ist Platoon, which landed on the right 
flank of Red Beach, was led by Capt. Sam Kesner, assistant chemical 
officer of the 3d Division. For some reason the landing craft dropped 
its amphibious tanks some 1,000 yards from shore. Consequently, 
Kesner's party, which remained in the LCT, had to unload its pots 
the hard way. Some were thrown into two 6-man rubber boats and 
towed to the beach. The rest of the smoke munitions were tossed over- 
board and floated ashore in their crates, an expedient made necessary 
by the pressure of enemy small arms fire. The situation was made more 
difficult because the LCT had landed 400 yards to the right of its 
assigned area in order to avoid mines. The smoke plan called for four 
positions on the beach, a number soon increased to twelve because of 
the adverse winds. The smoke detail soon pushed inland about 100 
yards, suffering four casualties in the early hours. 

The two smoke details in 3d Division's Yellow Beach came from the 
3d Chemical Mortar Battalion. Each of the one officer-fifteen enlisted 
men details landed at H-hour, meeting conditions not unlike those 
found on Red Beach. Because of the offshore mines, the LCT carrying 
the right flank party beached south of the assigned area. The group 
worked northward into position using smoke grenades for concealment 
from small arms fire. Opposition was heavier near the center of the 
beach but the smoke screen helped to eliminate observation, with the 
result that enemy fire became erratic, ceasing about H plus 30 minutes. 
The total length of the two screens on Yellow Beach was 2,000 yards. 

Although the smoke mission for Dragoon was extremely well 
planned and executed there was still room for improvement. Captain 



Kesner felt that the eggs should not have been placed in so few baskets — 
that a larger number of craft should have carried the members of the 
smoke details during the assault. In this way the sinking of any LCT 
would not have been an irreparable disaster. Maj. Albert L. Safine, 
Chemical Officer, 3d Division, suggested that in landings where enemy 
opposition would be substantial (resistance at Dragoon was weak) 
the smoke detail should land at H plus 30 and that the equipment 
include amphibious mounted generators. 

Smoke in Normal Forward Area Operations 

In the struggle for Italy it seemed that the dice were always loaded 
in favor of the defense. As a rule the German defenders controlled 
the high ground which typified the Italian terrain and thereby kept 
the Allies under excellent observation. Such a situation called for a 
considerable amount of smoke. 

There were several methods for laying smoke under such circum- 
stances. The firing of artillery smoke shells upon enemy observation 
points was an old technique, abetted by the introduction of the efficient 
4.2-inch mortar. The trouble in Italy was the abundance of observa- 
tion points, making the blanketing of all of them impracticable. 
Another method of preventing enemy observation was the somewhat 
difficult job of placing a curtain of smoke between the opposing forces. 
More feasible was the covering of friendly positions and movements 
by smoke, a technique obviously requiring emplaced rather than pro- 
jected smoke. Smoke pots were immediately available for this type 
of mission, although the harassing, if not toxic, nature of the HC 
filling hardly commended them for extensive or extended use. More 
often a combination of pots and shells was used. To illustrate, early 
on the morning of 1 3 October 1943, as VI Corps* 3d and 34th Divisions 
attacked across the swift moving Volturno River, the 2d and 84th 
Chemical Mortar Battalions routinely fired smoke shells on enemy 
observation towers in the distant hills. More unusual was the detail 
from the 84th Battalion which manned smoke pots for the conceal- 
ment of bridging sites and exposed approaches. The mission was not 
uniformly successful. On the evening of 13 October, for example, 
smoke pots set off to conceal bridge building activities drew enemy 
artillery fire to the area, a circumstance which made construction im- 
possible. Even though smoke in some cases, particularly in inadequate 



amounts, could thus be a mixed blessing, Company D, 84th Chemical 
Mortar Battalion, kept alerted a 100-man detail equipped with 1,000 
smoke pots to cover bridge sites. 65 

Another example of a screen formed by pots and shells occurred in 
mid -January 1944. II Corps captured the high ground east of the 
Rapido River and began to move up troops and supplies in preparation 
for an assault crossing. Because the main supply route, Highway No. 6, 
passed through relatively level terrain, it was exposed for a considerable 
distance to observed artillery fire from enemy positions on the moun- 
tain heights beyond the Rapido. 66 On 18 January troops from the 
headquarters of the 2d Chemical Mortar Battalion, under the super- 
vision of Colonel Burn, II Corps chemical officer, screened a section of 
the highway with M 1 smoke pots. At noon this force was supplemented 
by three smoke pot stations manned by troops from one of the firing 
companies of the battalion. During that day more than 1,000 enemy 
shells fell into the screened area with practically no damage and little 
interruption of traffic. Although the smoke interfered with the ob- 
servation of American artillery, the corps commander considered the 
screen essential, and an entire company of the 3d Battalion went for- 
ward with 185 tons of smoke pots. 67 

These two examples demonstrated the need that existed for conceal- 
ment in the forward areas in Italy and the immediate steps taken to 
adapt the smoke pot to the large area mission. These initial attempts, 
while generally successful, called attention to the possibilities of the 
use of the mechanical generator in similar situations — possibilities which 
were soon to be realized. 

Smoke on the Garigliano 

On 9 March the 88 th Infantry Division relieved a British unit on 
Fifth Army's extreme left. The sector included the area southeast of 
the town of Minturno where Highway No. 7 crossed the Garigliano 
not far from where the river emptied into the Tyrrhenian Sea. About 

* (1) From the Volturrto to the Winter Line, AMERICAN FORCES IN ACTION SERIES (Wash- 
ington, 1944), p. 48. (2) Co D 84th Cml Mortar Bn, Field Jnl, 10-17 Oct 43. (3) Memo, Barker 
for Hist Off, 4 Feb 47. (4) Interv, Hist Oft with Capt Ernest H. Davis, former CO Co C 84th Cml 
Mortar Bn, 27 Jun 4$. 

66 See Fifth Army at the Winter Line, AMERICAN FORCES IN ACTION SERIES (Washington, 
1945), illustration, p. 66. 

* T (i) 2d Cml Bn S-3, Jnl, Jan 44. (2) CWS TofO Ltr No. n, 9 Mar 44, p. iy. (3) Fifth Army 
Cml Sec Daily Jnl, 19 Jan 44. (4) Co C id Cml Bn Jnl, 19 Jan 44. 



Carrying Smoke Pots Into Position in the Rapido River Area 

live miles up the coast stood Mount Scouri which, with the hill masses 
above Minturno, provided the Germans with excellent observation of 
the road network in the valley. Particularly vulnerable was Highway 
7 along which passed all troops and supplies for the II Corps front. 
The British had used smoke pots around the river's main bridge, a prac- 
tice continued by American troops. On 28 March the 17 2d Smoke 
Generator Company, recently freed from duty at Naples, undertook 
the large area smoke mission in this area . 68 The new smoke installation 
also centered on the bridge. (Map 5)] This vital point was encircled 
by a ring of 10 smoke pot positions naving a 200-yard radius. The 
nucleus of the screen was a circle of mechanical generators 600 yards 
from the bridge. Just offshore, generators in small craft lent substance 

""The account of the Garigliano screen is based on: (i) Fifth Army Cml Sec Rpt, n.d. (ca. April 
44), sub: Defensive Smoke in Current Fifth Army Opns; (2) Col. Maurice E, Barker, "Smoke for 
River Crossings," Infantry Journal, LVIII, No. 1 (January, 1946), 37-41; (3) Interv, Hist Off with 
Maj Richard C. Burn, formerly CO 1726 Smoke Generator Co, 30 Jan 47. 


I 9 t KIUQMETEWS [ ^ V ^ || 

Hd»n#* t Jr. 

MAP 5 

to the left flank of the screen, an expedient made necessary by the 
prevailing onshore winds. 

In an effort to nullify the effectiveness of enemy artillery each gen- 
erator had three prepared positions. Under cover of darkness the crews 
moved their generators from position to position always eschewing 
regularity and pattern in a generally successful attempt at hiding exact 
locations. The area between the river and the enemy lines was dotted 
with other pot and generator positions picked primarily to deny ob- 
servation between the bridge and Minturno. The most advanced of 



these were within 500 yards of the enemy and about 200 yards beyond 
friendly infantry strongholds. Lesser installations concealed other 
bridges over the Garigliano and road junctions and portions of the high- 
way farther to the rear. From his post at Minturno a smoke control 
officer supervised the installation, regulating the emission of smoke so 
that a uniform haze was maintained during all daylight hours as well 
as during moonlight nights and nocturnal air raids. 

In this its first forward area mission the 17 2d Company quite nat- 
urally met with problems not found in rear area screening. For one 
thing, the unit worked in two shifts because of the necessity of a 
constant daytime screen as well as the possibility of operations at night. 
(Installations at the rear, it will be remembered, did not include smoke 
among their daytime antiaircraft defenses.) The problem of security 
was greater because of the danger of enemy patrols. Communications 
maintenance increased appreciably and the need for continuous fog oil 
resupply in an area both difficult and dangerous to reach involved 
problems unknown at the port screen at Naples. 

Large Area Screening in Northern Italy 

Stymied by swift German reaction to Operation Shingle (Anzio) 
on one hand, and by the strong Gustav Line on the other, the Fifth 
Army did not capture Rome until early June 1944. Later that summer, 
the much debated invasion of southern France became a reality and 
drew off in the process a large part of Fifth Army strength, in fact, 
the entire VI Corps. Six of the nine CWS companies capable of 
smoke operations were included in the departing force; remaining 
were the ijzd and 179th Smoke Generator Companies and the 24th 
Chemical Decontamination Company, the latter experienced in smoke 
operations but soon diverted to chemical depot operations. As a result, 
the means to pursue a successful forward area smoke mission were 
seriously impaired, especially when the recently won ports of Civita- 
vecchia, Piombino, and Leghorn were requiring what were to be the 
last vestiges of port screening in the Italian campaign. By September 
the ijzd and 179th were released from the Leghorn operation and 
placed in support of II and IV Corps, respectively, attachments which 
were to last until the end of the war. 

That same month saw the beginning of a concerted effort by the 
15 th Army Group to penetrate the Gothic Line to which the Axis 



had withdrawn after the fall of Rome. The natural strength of this 
position, which crossed Italy between Florence and Bologna, combined 
with the weakened state of the Allied forces, resulted, after an initial 
Fifth Army penetration, in eventual stalemate. 

During the first month of the offensive the ijzd Company concealed 
bridge sites on the Sieve and Santerno Rivers. In each case, accurate 
German artillery fire became ineffective once smoke was employed. 69 
The divisions in the II Corps sector at first made spectacular gains, 
reaching a point on Highway No. 65 above Livergnano within twelve 
miles of Bologna. Here the advance stopped, and there was to be 
little change in the front line until the following April. On the left 
shoulder of this penetration, strong German resistance denied Fifth 
Army Mount Adone and the hill mass at Monterumici, with the result- 
ant variation on a familiar theme — from these vantage points the en- 
emy retained direct observation of Highway No. 65, the main supply 
route for the section. 70 

In partial answer to this threat on the supply route, the ijzd Smoke 
Generator Company maintained a smoke line from 16 October 1944 
until 14 April 1945. For 181 days, except when the weather made 
screening unnecessary or when II Corps for one reason or another 
needed perfect visibility in the area, the smoke haze concealed friendly 
movements along a 2-mile stretch of the highway. Periods of bright 
moonlight sometimes forced the 17 2d to operate on a 24-hour basis. 

Although the enemy was only about two miles away vehicles drove 
along the road without difficulty. The smoke was also of value to 
patrols and other troops moving across exposed areas. By reducing 
the danger and dread of observed fire the operation on Highway No. 
65 — the longest continuous forward area smoke screen in World War 
II — was both a material and psychological aid. 

The I72d, with some outside help, performed another important 
mission while at Livergnano. From 25 January to 27 March 1945 a 
detachment from the company screened the road network in the 
Sillaro Valley which supplied both the U.S. II Corps and British 
Eighth Army sectors. The most vital part of this network was the 

m See photographs on pageQJT] above. 

70 This section on operations in northern Italy is based on: (i) iyid and 179th Smoke Generator Co 
Journals; (2) Fifth Army Cml Sec Jnl, 25 Feb-3 Mar 45; (3) Lt, Col. Houston Joyner, CWS, "They 
Couldn't Sec Down Into the Valley," Armed Forces Chemical Journal, III, No. 2 (October, 1948). 



Smoke Screen Conceals Movements Along Highway 

crossroads at San Clemente, the site of a smoke pot screen manned 
first by the 88 th Division and then by British troops, since the capture 
of the town in October. The undesirable characteristics of the HC 
pots led to a successful January trial of a smoke installation featuring 
the recently developed M2 mechanical generator. Captured enemy 
patrols admitted the effectiveness of this installation which concealed 
vehicular traffic, troop concentrations, supply dumps, and artillery 
positions of American and British forces. 

On the IV Corps front the 179th Company supported operations 
ranging from the Ligurian coast to the Serchio Valley and Highway 
No. 64. Because of the distance between these missions — in the IV 
Corps sector Highway 64 was over forty miles from the sea — the unit's 
two platoons operated separately. The 1st Platoon, between Highway 
No. 1 and the sea, screened the coastal plain north of Viareggio. 
Detachments from the platoon were split off to fulfill other missions: 
screens for bridge sites and tank attacks and hazes for daylight patrols. 



On j November, the 2d Platoon began a 102-day haze to cover an 
exposed stretch of Highway 64, as well as several supply installations, 
in the right sector of IV Corps. Just as in the case of Highway 6$ 
south of Bologna, before the haze daytime traffic on the road always 
drew fire. Afterward, the amount of enemy fire noticeably decreased, 
bridges were built and strengthened without interruption, and traffic 
passed with little interference. 

As World War II began, the large area screen was designed to 
conceal rear area installations. American and British smoke units and 
equipment in North Africa successfully demonstrated the validity of 
this mission and the adequacy of the smoke munitions. Once the scene 
of fighting shifted to the mainland of Italy doctrine for large area 
screens saw a drastic expansion. True, the old mission remained — as 
witness the smoke installation at the Naples complex, the largest of its 
kind of the war. But added to this was the use of smoke in assault 
landings and during the more conventional type of front-line oper- 
ations. The evolution of the front-line mission was dependent upon 
several factors. First was the peculiar nature of the terrain in Italy, 
where circumstances and geography conspired to have the Allied forces 
continually advance under the superior observation of the enemy and 
against his deadly fire. The second factor was the limitations of con- 
ventional front-line smoke munitions — artillery and mortar shells and 
the smoke pots. And last, the gradual diminution of the power of the 
Luftwaffe and the consequent lessening of the need for port screening 
released smoke units, never in abundance in Italy, for the fulfillment 
of the new mission. 

Forward area screening encountered the stiff and legitimate objec- 
tions of such diverse sources as the field artillery and the supporting 
naval units. The problem, of course, was observation. Smoke did 
contend with these effective and established elements, and CWS officers 
took great care to see that the nature of these smoke screens was com- 
plementing, not competing. 


Large Area Smoke Screens 
in the ETO 

The Invasion of Normandy 

Almost from the very beginning of their labors Allied planners for 
the cross-Channel attack contemplated the use of smoke for the beaches 
in France and the ports that were to be developed there. In 1942 the 
combined British-American planning organization included an anti- 
aircraft committee which, in turn, had a smoke subcommittee. The 
logistical computations for the British Haslar generator, the best model 
then available to the Allies, indicated such large requirements for oil 
as seriously to limit extensive use of the technique of large area screen- 
ing. Fortunately, at this time the National Defense Research Com- 
mittee brought out the Mi mechanical generator, news of which sent 
a mission hurrying from England to the United States. Colonel Mont- 
gomery, the American representative, reported that the new generator 
was five times as efficient as any existing smoke device. Substitution of 
the Mi for the Haslar enabled smoke planners to draw up oil require- 
ments which were far more reasonable. 1 

The development of the new generator prompted attempts by CWS 
staff officers in England to get a smoke generator company for the 
theater. War Department inquiries about the requirements for such 
units got little response from the Eighth Air Force, which came to 
the conclusion that the advantages of airdrome concealment were 
equaled or outweighed by the interference of smoke with operations. 
But SOS authorities in the theater showed interest in smoke as a means 
of concealing supply installations and later included the ports in 

1 (1) Interv, Hist Off with Col MacArthur, 23 Nov 45. MacArthur participated in the smoke 
planning for the invasion, later becoming Chemical Officer, 12th Army Group. (2) Col Montgomery 
to CG ETO, 14 Oct 42, Rpt of American Representatives, British-American Large Area Smoke Mission 
to the U.S. CWS Ret 470.7-2815. 



Great Britain through which flowed the build-up of troops and supplies 
from the United States. Diminishing German air raids reduced theater 
interest in this type of activity, although during mid- 1943 planners 
envisioned the use of some twenty or twenty-four smoke companies 
to conceal continental ports once the invasion was under way. 2 

With the return of General Eisenhower to London from the Medi- 
terranean area in January 1944, planning for the cross-Channel attack 
began to take final shape. The troop basis for U.S. smoke generator 
troops now totaled twelve companies, organized into three battalions. 
Although these were originally listed as SOS units with a primary 
mission of rear area screening, Colonel MacArthur, CWS representa- 
tive in the planning group, insisted that one smoke battalioij be ear- 
marked for tactical employment with the combat forces. 3 And it was 
to be in this role, rather than through their part in the concealment 
of rear areas, that smoke units were to make their most effective 

Brigadier G. H. Pennycock, director of chemical warfare for the 
British 2 r Army Group, co-ordinated Allied smoke screening plans for 
the initial phase of the invasion. Colonel Coughlan, FUSA chemical 
officer, was in turn responsible for the operational plans for American 
forces. One problem which had been troubling First Army, the diffi- 
culty of landing the heavy Mr generators on the Normandy beaches, 
was eliminated almost on the eve of the assault with the arrival of the 
M2 generator which had a dry weight of only 172 pounds. Smoke 
troops received the first M2 on 13 May, 7 more on 24 May, jo on the 
28th, and 27 between that date and 3 June. 4 

Final plans for the use of large area smoke screens during the cross- 
Channel attack provided for smoke over the ports of England from 
which the invasion would be mounted and smoke over Omaha and 
Utah beaches in Normandy. In both cases the screens would be used 
as a means of concealing activity from German aircraft. The companies 
of the 24th and 25 th Smoke Generator Battalions received the English 
port assignment; the 23d Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. William 
M. Fiske and including the 79th, 80th, 84th, and 161st Smoke Gen- 
erator Companies, was earmarked for duty at Omaha Beach, but not 

2 Pritchard, Smoke Generator Opns in MTO and ETO, pp. 87-87. This monograph contains a 
detailed account of smoke planning and operations in the European theater. 
a MacArthur Interv, 23 Nov 45. 

* 23d Cml Smoke Generator Bn Unit Diary, 18 Apr-3 Jun 43. 



for the first three days of the operation. Chemical decontamination 
troops, scheduled to go ashore with the initial landings, were at first 
to use smoke pots and M2 generators to provide any necessary smoke. 
The 23d Battalion, with two companies on land and two on offshore 
trawlers, would assume responsibility for the antiaircraft smoke at 
Omaha Beach on D plus 3. 5 

Once these general plans for smoke operations were completed, the 
units which were to take part could begin realistic training for their 
projected tasks. The 30th, 31st, and 33d Decontamination Companies 
received such training and were attached to engineer special brigades 
for the operation. The 79th and 80th Smoke Generator Companies, 
designated as the sea group of the 23d Battalion, had to become accus- 
tomed to working and living on trawlers. Their offshore employment 
also presented communications problems which had to be worked out 
by the battalion. In order to insure the necessary timing and co-ordi- 
nation the 23d was attached to the 49th Antiaircraft Artillery Brigade 
which had control of smoke although subject to the approval of the 
naval command and the veto of the tactical air command. 

The two smoke generator battalions assigned to the English ports 
naturally began operations before the actual day of the invasion. The 
25th, comprising the 85th, 86th, 165th, and 171st Smoke Generator 
Companies, furnished smoke in the Weymouth-Portland area. During 
the last part of May the Luftwaffe attacked the area three different 
times inflicting damage only during raids when the battalion was not 
ordered to make smoke. The 24th Battalion (81st, 8 2d, 87th, and 
167th Smoke Generator Companies) , part of which saw action in the 
vicinity of Brixham, made smoke on fewer occasions than did the 
25th. 6 

The 33d Chemical Decontamination Company landed on Utah 
Beach on D-day with the multiple mission of decontamination recon- 
naissance, smoke, and CWS supply. 7 Although by that afternoon the 
unit was prepared to provide smoke on call from VII Corps, the 
German Air Force failed to appear in strength and the need for smoke 
never materialized. As a consequence, the 33d's main mission became 
that of supply; the CWS dump maintained by the unit handled over 

B Final area smoke plans for the invation appear on FUSA Rpt of Opns, 10 Oct 43-1 Aug 44, an. 17, 
Cml Warfare Sec. 

"Pritchard, Smoke Generator Opns in MTO and ETO, pp. 93-94. 
T For details of the invasion, see Harrison, Cross-Channel Attack, 



5,000 tons of CWS Class II and IV supplies during the first three weeks 
on the beachhead. 8 

Both the 30th and 31st Decontamination Companies saw action on 
Omaha Beach. The former's 1st Platoon landed at H plus 16 minutes 
in the midst of the most rugged fighting of the invasion with the 
missions of decontamination, smoke, and supply. At first, the platoon 
fought along side the infantry using small arms and grenades and later, 
when the beachhead was secured, it aided in evacuating wounded and 
in clearing mine fields. During the afternoon the portable generators 
that had been lost in the surf at the time of the landings were retrieved 
and put into operating condition. As at Utah, there were no calls 
for smoke. The 1st Platoon suffered 25 percent casualties on D-day 
and was cited for outstanding performance of duty. 9 At 1300 the 
3d Platoon landed on Omaha to be joined by the remainder of the 
30th Company on D plus 1. A 2 5 -man detachment of the 31st 
Decontamination Company came ashore at H plus 7 hours on 6 June 
and was reunited with the rest of the company on the next day. In 
activities which followed the pattern set by the other decontamination 
companies, the men of the 31st performed a series of secondary duties 
in the absence of gas warfare and the need for smoke. 10 

According to plan, the companies of the 23d Smoke Generator Bat- 
talion were to have assumed the smoke mission at Omaha on D plus 3. 
The land contingent of the battalion, the 84th and 161st Companies, 
arrived off the beach on the afternoon of D plus 2 and came ashore 
that evening. Both companies experienced a great deal of difficulty. 
Men and equipment became separated; some roads indicated on the 
map were nonexistent and others were heavily mined or subject to 
enemy fire. Fortunately, few German planes appeared over the area 
and smoke was not required. 11 

The 79th and 80th Smoke Generator Companies, with their men and 
Mi smoke generators aboard thirty of His Majesty's trawlers, on 9 
June arrived off Omaha Beach, where they served as the offshore 
element of the 23d Battalion smoke installation. But they received no 
requests for smoke. The great storm of 18-21 June wrecked some of 

(1) 33d Cml Decontamination Co Hist Resume. CMLHO. (2) Pritchard, Smoke Generator 
Opns in MTO and ETO, p. 94. 

9 (1) WD GO 21, 30 Mar 45. (2) The 1st Platoon also received the French Croix de Guerre with 
Silver-Gilt Scar. DA GO 24, 10 Dec 47. 

10 3 1 st Cml Decontamination Co, Hist Resume. 

"23d Cml Smoke Generator Bn Unit Diary, June 44. 



M2 Smoke Generator 

the trawlers and others returned to England for repair and refueling, 
never to return to Omaha. Some offshore smoke troops did provide 
screens at Port en Bessin where both British and Americans were bring- 
ing ashore fuel oil and lubricants. Here, in co-ordination with the 
British, the smoke trawlers stood ready to provide screens at twilight 
and during nocturnal red alerts as long as this important facility seemed 
threatened. 12 

During the critical period while the Allies were fighting to secure a 
firm foothold in Normandy, the landing beaches were virtually free 
from bombing from the air, and the need for beachhead and port 
screening did not materialize. Equipped with Mi generators, the com- 
panies of one smoke battalion did take positions around Cherbourg and 
remained on the alert until mid-August, although the need for smoke 
never arose. Under circumstances such as these, smoke units received 

12 (i) 23d Cm! Smoke Generator Bn Unit Diary, Jun-Jul 44. (2) 79th and 80th Smoke Generator 
Cos Unit Diaries, Jun 44. 



unrelated secondary missions, mostly involving trucking duties. Con- 
sequently, when an opportune time did arise for using smoke in close 
support of tactical operations the companies were busy performing 
other tasks. 

The Generators, Units, and Missions 

The most influential factor in the development of the mission of 
forward area screening in the European theater was the appearance of 
the M2 mechanical smoke generator. This compact, efficient generator 
enabled chemical troops to establish effective smoke installations in those 
areas of the battlefield subject to enemy small arms fire. For example, 
the M2 could be emplaced on the near bank in an assault river crossing 
and ferried to the far side as soon as that area was cleared of enemy 
opposition. The M2 mechanical generator, as already mentioned, 
weighed only 172 pounds as compared to the ton and a half figure of 
the Mr. Employing the same principle as its predecessor, the M2 drew 
its fog oil from an external source, usually a 5 5 -gallon drum, and was 
capable of producing smoke one minute after it started operation, 
whereas it took the Mr five minutes. The new model consumed about 
fifty gallons of fog oil in an hour compared to twice that amount for 
its predecessor. 13 

A total of five smoke generator battalions saw action in the European 
Theater of Operations. The need for some organization for the admin- 
istration and control of several smoke generator companies became 
evident in Italy in connection with the complex Naples installation 
with its several smoke companies. Consequently, three battalion head- 
quarters and headquarters detachments, the 23d, 24th, and 25th, were 
organized just before the cross-Channel attack. Later the 22d Smoke 
Generator Battalion entered the theater as a supporting unit of Seventh 
Army, and the 27th Battalion, activated in the zone of interior in July 
1944, was placed in support of Ninth Army. 

The basic smoke unit was the smoke generator company, 1 5 of which 
saw action in the European theater. A smoke company consisted of a 
company headquarters, headquarters platoon, and operations platoon. 
The operations platoon comprised 4 sections, each section having 6 
squads. A company equipped with M2*s had a total of 50 generators, 

u For more on the development and characteristics of the several CVS mechanical smoke generators, 
see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, |Frow Lab oratory to Field. I 



2 per operations squad and 2 with company headquarters. Personnel 
of this smoke company numbered 4 officers and 131 enlisted men. 14 
The same company with the identical number of troops would have 
been equipped with only 24 Mr generators, or one per operations squad. 

The mission which smoke units had originally considered their most 
important, the concealment of ports, never materialized in the Euro- 
pean Theater of Operations. Experience at the time of the cross- 
Channel attack indicated that the Luftwaffe was not strong enough 
to jeopardize these basic supply installations, and this situation did not 
change throughout the rest of the war. Seventh Army did maintain 
a rather extensive smoke installation at Marseille during the period 
September to November 1944, but at no time did the Luftwaffe seri- 
ously threaten the port. 15 

The large area screening mission in the European theater did not 
undergo the slow transition from rear to forward areas that had 
marked the fighting in North Africa and Italy. The absence of any 
great threat by the enemy air force and the development of a mobile 
generator meant almost from the first that the smoke companies in the 
ETO would play their most significant role in the forward areas, 
that is, if they were to play a smoke role at all. Initially, when the 
German air threat failed to materialize, the smoke units found them- 
selves assigned to a series of secondary missions — transportation, guard, 
and security details. Early in the fall of 1944 only four of the twelve 
companies assigned to the theater were available for forward area 
smoke operations. 16 While at times the assignment of smoke companies 
to other missions was understandable in the absence of tactical situations 
which called for concealment, in other cases the transfer was not 
justified. The First Army, for example, could often have used smoke 
units in forward operations but refused to do so until the time of the 
Rhine crossings. 

But gradually smoke companies began fulfilling forward area mis- 
sions as the situation warranted. These could be of several kinds. 
Screens were used to conceal main supply routes. Seventh Army em- 
ployed smoke units in this manner as much as any other army in the 

"TOE 3-267, 4 May 44. 

" (1) See Pritchard, Smoke Generator Opns in MTO and ETO, pp. 21J-19. (2) Two U.S. smoke 
companies operated with the British at Antwerp for more than two months and smoked the Scheldt 
River and the approaches to the city. 

19 Ltr, CCmlO ETO COMZ to CCWS, 20 Sep 44, sub: Tactical Use of Smoke Generator Cos. CWS 



theater, perhaps because of its previous experience in Italy. Com- 
manders occasionally used smoke haze to cover the advance or with- 
drawal of troops or to cover a unit attacking a fortified position. 17 
But there can be no doubt whatever that mechanical smoke generators 
played their most important role in the theater by concealing American 
troops as they crossed many of the rivers which had temporarily 
blocked the way to eventual victory. The first such operation took 
place early in September at the Moselle River. 

The Use of Smoke at River Crossings 

General Patton's Third U.S. Army became operational on i August 
1944 and shortly thereafter began its rapid advance across France. By 
the end of August its forward units, outrunning their supplies of oil 
and gasoline, ground to a halt east of the Meuse. When the advance 
resumed early in September, Third Army faced an enemy with a 
second wind and rather good defensive positions behind the Moselle 

As long as the Third Army had been rolling forward it doubtless 
had been more concerned with fuel oil than fog oil. Its rapid advance 
of August left little room for the tactics of concealment, smoke or 
otherwise. Consequently, those smoke troops which had been assigned 
to Third Army had left their generators and turned to transportation 
duties on the supply line, whose tail extended clear back to the Nor- 
mandy beaches. 

On 6 September Patton's XX Corps renewed the advance with the 
7th Armored Division in the van, its mission the seizure of crossing 
sites over the Moselle. The 5 th Infantry Division, following hard on 
the heels of the 7th, prepared to force a crossing if the armored attack 
failed. On 7 September the corps commander, Maj. Gen. Walton 
Walker, ordered the 5th Division to pass through the 7th Armored 
and establish a bridgehead on the east bank of the Moselle at Dornot, 
six miles southeast of the fortress city of Metz. This initial attack 
across the Moselle proved abortive and two days later, 10 September, 
the 5 th Division abandoned the precarious bridgehead. On the same 

17 For details of these operations, see Pritchard, Smoke Generator Opns in MTO and ETO. 



day the ioth Infantry, 5 th Division, crossed the Moselle at Arnaville, 
three miles south of the site of the unsuccessful crossing* 18 

The Arnaville Crossing 

The 84th Smoke Generator Company was hastily recalled from its 
transportation duties to support the Arnaville crossing. The excellence 
of German artillery and observation was such as to recommend the 
possibilities of smoke as a means of concealing the exposed crossing site. 
At this time the possibilities of the M2 generator were not widely 
known in Third Army; in fact large area smoke screens in tactical 
situations had evolved rather recently. This screen at the Arnaville 
assault and bridging sites was thus to provide new experiences for the 
various people involved — the infantry, the engineers, and the men of 
the smoke company. 19 

At the site of the crossing in the narrow valley of the Moselle, a 
railroad, a canal, and the river roughly parallel each other in a 500-yard 
belt. A small stream, the Rupt de Mad, flows through the Arnaville 
gap, passes under the railroad and canal, and empties into the river. 
East of the river lay a strip of open land beyond which rose the hills 
which were occupied by the enemy. North-south roads on each side 
of the river mark the division between river flats and the beginning 
of the hills. On clear days the Germans had observation of the Arna- 
ville area from 5 or 6 miles down (north) the river and from 3 or 4 
miles up the valley. 

"Two other volumes in the series U.S. ARMY IN WORLD WAR II provide additional material on 
this battle and on the campaign of which it was a part. Hugh M. Cole's excellent The Lorraine Cam- 
paign (Washington, 1979) deals with Third Army Operations in Lorraine during the period September- 
December 1944- In the volume Three Battles: Arnaville, Altuzzo, and Schmidt, by Charles B. Mac- 
Donald and Sidney T. Mathews (Washington, 1952), MacDonald gives a detailed and graphic account 
of the Arnaville crossings. Both can be profitable to a reader desiring further information on operations 
of Third Army in the Lorraine Campaign. For additional details on the use of smoke at Arnaville, see 
again Pritchard, Smoke Generator Operations in the MTO and ETO, pages 107— 25, a work on which this 
present account relied heavily. 

"Chief sources for this account are: (1) CO 84th Cml Smoke Generator Co, Opn Rpt, Vicinity 
Arnaville, France, 17 Sep 44; (2) CO 84th Cml Smoke Generator Co, Final Opns Rpt, Arnaville, 
France, 10-21 Sep 44; (3) Lt Col Levin B. Cottingham, Employ of a Smoke Generator Co in an 
Assault Crossing of the Moselle River, n.d. (ca. 21 Sep 44); (4) 12th Army Group Immediate Rpt 
No. 68, I, Use of Smoke in Crossing of the Moselle River, 28 Sep 44; (5) Intervs, Cottingham (for- 
merly CmlO yth Inf Div), 1 Oct 45, 9 Oct 45, 19 Mar 46, 25 Sep 46; (6) Rpt of Lt Col William H. 
Greene (formerly CmlO XX Corps) on the smoking operations at Arnaville, France, 10 Sep 44, dated 
11 Nov 47, all in CMLHO; (7) TUSA AAR, I, 68-81; (8) yth Inf Div G-3 AAR, Sep 44, 
Orgn Files, ETO; (9) yth Division Historical Section, The Fifth Division in the ETO (Atlanta: Albert 
Love Enterprises, 1945). 



Early on 9 September Col. Robert P. Bell, commanding the 10th 
Infantry, and a party went forward to examine the crossing site. 
Despite the presence of enemy mines they were able to select suitable 
approaches and found two footbridges over the canal. They also deter- 
mined that the river banks were suitable for the launching of assault 
boats and the erection of adequate bridges once the area was secured. 

In quest of surprise, the artillery plan stipulated that there would 
be no preparatory fire preceding the crossing. But smoke from the 
generators of the 84th Company was expected to conceal the crossing 
sites as dawn broke on the 10th. Lt. Col. Levin B. Cottingham, chemical 
officer of the 5 th Division, arranged for a meteorological study of the 
area as an aid to the smoke operations. He scanned the daily weather 
reports of the Air Forces and the local weather supplements of the 
division artillery. Arnaville residents verified that the prevailing winds 
were westerly and of low velocity. After a reconnaissance Cottingham 
and the commander of the 84th Smoke Generator Company decided 
on a line of generators behind Hill 303, some 2,300 yards west of the 

crossing site. WMap~~6) . They expected that the prevailing winds 
would carry tne smoke from these positions over the crossing sites 
and over the flat areas on the far side of the river. Concealed from 
enemy air and ground operations, engineers could erect and maintain 
the necessary bridges in support of the operation. Generators were not 
placed at the crossing site at first because of the unlikelihood of wind 
change and because of the 84th's lack of experience under fire. Hill 
303 protected the generators from direct enemy artillery and small 
arms fire, an important consideration for smoke troops who, far from 
battle hardened, had been driving trucks across a quiet countryside 
only a few days before. One smoke observation post was established 
at the OP of the 10th Infantry's Cannon Company on the crest of 
Hill 331, south of Arnaville. Another was located on Hill 303. Cot- 
tingham, the smoke control officer at the crossing site, used radio to 
keep in touch with the observation posts. The 1 103d Engineer Combat 
Group, commanded by Lt. Col. George E. Walker, charged with the 
bridge building operation, had tactical control of the screen. 

Fog oil for the M2 generators was available at the Third Army depot 
at Troyes, 180 miles to the rear. Because the organic transportation of 
a smoke company was inadequate to cope with such lengthy supply 
lines, the division quartermaster lent the trucks for fetching the fog 




MAP 6 

oil to a company supply area four miles to the rear of the forward 
dump behind Hill 303. Company vehicles hauled the oil drums the 
rest of the way. In addition to generator smoke, the 84th had a supply 
of Mr and M4 smoke pots to be used for patching gaps in generator 
smoke and for supplemental screening. 

The 84th moved into its positions during the night of 9-10 Sep- 
tember and was ready to produce smoke at dawn. Initially the company 
set up only twelve generators at Position 1, a number which could be 
increased or decreased as the situation demanded since the full comple- 
ment of fifty generators was available. 

At 01 1 y on 10 September troops of the 1st Battalion, 10th Infantry, 
began loading into the boats on the near bank of the Moselle. They 


Smoke Screen Begins To Form on the Moselle River 

encountered scattered small arms fire immediately and machine gun 
and mortar fire as they advanced over the flat open terrain across the 
river, but the first German artillery fire did not fall until daybreak. 
By this time the 2d Battalion had also begun its crossing, assisted by 
the smoke of the M2 generators which opened up at 0600. Under this 
concealment the 2d Battalion completed its crossing, the wounded 
were evacuated from the far shore, and supplies and ammunition were 
sent across to the embattled troops. By 0800, after close fighting and 
heavy casualties, the two battalions had taken two hills. Suddenly at 
1000 the wind shifted, causing the screen to dissipate. Enemy artillery 
concentrated on the crossing site, now laid bare. 

Within an hour Colonel Cottingham and Lt. Frank W. Young, of 
the 84th Company, moved four generators down to the side of an 
abandoned railroad embankment (Position 2 on the map). Smoke 
pots helped conceal the generators as they began to build up a screen, 



and by 1200 the crossing site was again covered by smoke. Shortly 
before noon Brig. Gen. Alan D. Warnock, assistant division com- 
mander, and Cottingham looked for the commanding officer of the 
84th Smoke Generator Company to tell him to keep the generators 
running continuously. 1st Lt. George R. Lamb, the company executive 
officer, was across the river reconnoitering for new emplacements, and 
Lieutenant Young continued to direct operations along the near bank. 
The company commander could not be found. At this point, Col. 
William H. Greene, XX Corps chemical officer, present to inspect the 
screening operation, joined Cottingham in a search for company per- 
sonnel. There were many barrels for fog oil at the dump west of 
Arnaville, but no sign of smoke generator troops. The two CWS 
officers eventually located a group under control of the 1st sergeant 
who, not without difficulty, organized details to move generators and 
fog oil to the crossing site. Without preparation for this type of oper- 
ation and without company leadership, a number of the smoke troops 
had to be urged to take up positions down by the river bank. Upon 
making his appearance in the late afternoon, the company commander 
was relieved and replaced by Lieutenant Lamb. 

The number of generator positions was soon increased in order that 
an effective screen might be maintained, regardless of the direction of 
the wind. Position 3 paralleled a short stretch of the Arnaville-Noveant 
road and was later augmented by a jeep-mounted generator which pa- 
trolled the road on the lookout for any gaps in the screen. That night 
eight generator crews crossed the Moselle with their equipment, dug 
in their generators, and were ready to start operations at Position 4 
at dawn of 1 1 September. The new smoke plan also included emergency 
Positions 5 and 6, located south of Arnaville, but these were never 
needed in the operation. 20 

At daybreak on 11 September the 84th began smoking operations 
at Position 3 on the far bank of the river. For several hours activity 
at the bridgehead was essentially unmolested; enemy shelling had prac- 
tically ceased. The engineers had hauled several pieces of heavy equip- 
ment to the near bank and were about to begin bridge construction. 
Around 0900 an unidentified engineer, doubtlessly influenced by the 
absence of opposition and the interference of smoke with bridging 

20 It was also during the night of io-ii September that the smoke company tested the feasibility of a 
screen against artillery observation and air bombardment on moonlight nights, although the bridgehead 
was neither bombed or strafed during any night of the operation. 



activities, ordered the smoke generators to shut down. 21 As soon as 
the screen dissipated, hell broke loose on the bridge site. German artil- 
lery made direct hits on two pieces of heavy engineer equipment and 
killed or wounded several engineers. Cottingham ordered the screen 
re-established at once, and the engineers shifted their efforts 300 yards 
downstream inasmuch as the enemy had pinpointed the original bridge 
site. To avoid any future interference with smoking activity, the 
division commander assumed control at the bridge site, to be exercised 
by his chemical officer. 

The engineers rated the value of smoke at Arnaville less highly than 
did the participating chemical officers. After the war, Colonel Walker 
expressed the view that enemy fire on the crossing site was limited 
more by a shortage of ammunition than by American smoke. 22 Un- 
doubtedly the enemy did suffer from a limited supply of ammunition 
and could not make lavish use of shells for missions of harassment and 
interdiction. But his interest in lucrative targets of opportunity, as 
evidenced by this experience on 10 and 11 September, was enough to 
convince the jth Division that a smoke screen should be maintained. 

A 1 5 -hour screen on 12 September was featured by the use of a jeep- 
mounted generator on the valley road east of the river. About noon 
engineers completed a treadway bridge at the north site but had to 
withdraw temporarily because of heavy shelling. The screen continued 
on 13 September although from time to time enemy fire made the 
location almost untenable. That day German guns inflicted four casu- 
alties and destroyed two generators of the 84th Company and two of 
its trucks. 

Again on the 14th enemy fire forced the engineers to evacuate the 
bridge site from time to time. Fluctuating winds frequently exposed 
generator emplacements to direct enemy observation, and the crews 
hurriedly moved their generators after such an exposure. Smoke pots 
hid upwind generators, filled gaps in the line, and maintained the screen 
while crews replaced or repaired generators. Enemy fire killed one 
man of the smoke company and wounded another. Late on the 14th, 
engineers completed the bridge at the south site making possible one- 

21 (1) Colonel Walker of the 1103d Engineer Combat Group was not the officer who gave the order. 
Three Battles, p. y^n. (2) Some engineer accounts place the time of heavy shelling several hours 
earlier, but MacDonald in his Arnaville account, after a careful study of the after action reports, agrees 
that 0900, the time set by Cottingham, must have been the approximate hour. Ibid., p. 74. 

23 MacDonald in Three Battles, page 67, cites this opinion by Colonel Walker. 



way traffic across the Moselle. That day there was some decrease in 
enemy fire. On the 15th the 5th Division captured the dominating 
hill in the area, and German artillery fire further diminished with the 
advance of the infantry and armor. Thus the bridgehead was secured 
at a cost of 725 casualties in the 10th Infantry, 13 killed and 100 
wounded in the 1103d Engineer Combat Group, and 2 killed and 7 
wounded in the 84th Smoke Generator Company. 

Securing the bridgehead did not eliminate the need for smoke, for 
the Arnaville bridges, which became integral parts of the main supply 
route for succeeding operations of XX Corps, remained under German 
observation from Fort Driant and neighboring points in the vicinity 
of Metz. The i6rst Smoke Generator Company, under the command 
of Capt. Charles D. Underwood, relieved the 84th on 21 September 
and maintained a screen at Arnaville until the 25th, when XX Corps 
decided that smoke was no longer necessary. Enemy artillery promptly 
destroyed the treadway bridge and damaged the ponton structure, 
stopping all traffic. In response to an engineer request for the resump- 
tion of the screen a section of the 84th returned on the 29th and 
established "a very comforting smoke screen." 23 Enemy guns at Fort 
Driant, with much of the Moselle Valley in range, continued to fire 
indiscriminately but failed to damage seriously the heavy ponton 
bridge. 24 

The Lessons Learned at Arnaville 

The operation at Arnaville demonstrated for the first time in the 
European theater that smoke generators could give effective support 
to an opposed river crossing. The experience also served notice that 
certain improvements were desirable. 

Even before the operation began it was evident that a smoke company 
had enough organic vehicles for transporting fog oil and supplies from 
company dumps to forward positions, but too few 2^2 -ton trucks 
to haul oil from the army supply point. The 5 th Division solved the 
problem of fetching oil from the army supply by augmenting the five 
company trucks with additional vehicles. This matter of limited or- 
ganic transportation and its effect on resupply remained a constant 

a CoI. William C. Hall, CE, "Harassing Fire," The field Artillery Journal, vol. 35, No. 2 (February, 
>94j)» PP. 6Z-69. 
u TUSA AAR, vol. II, pc. m, p. 



problem for smoke generator companies in the fighting in France and 
Germany. 25 The Arnaville experience also pointed out that definite 
plans had to be made to get generators and fog oil across the river at 
an early hour. This meant making an initial assignment of boats and 
rafts to the smoke company for that specific purpose, an assignment 
which quite possibly would have been made if a section of the 84th 
Chemical Smoke Generator Company had been a component part of 
the river crossing assault team. 

The operation focused attention on the need for definite control of 
area screening. Tactical control of the screen by the engineer unit 
responsible for the bridge appeared logical at first. But the action of 
the engineers in shutting down the screen in the course of the operation 
caused all elements to suffer and demonstrated that in certain tactical 
situations it was highly desirable to clear smoke interference complaints 
through division headquarters where a decision could best be made. 
In fact, in subsequent river crossing operations the 5th Division kept 
control of the screen in the hands of the commanding general until 
his rear boundary had advanced beyond the bridge. If screening was 
still necessary, as it was at Arnaville, control reverted to the corps 
engineer unit charged with maintaining the bridge. 

One of the most important lessons learned at the Moselle was the 
fallacy of depending upon prevailing winds and the necessity of plan- 
ning for winds from any quarter. On 10 September the prevailing 
wind remained constant for the first four hours and then turned 
variable and remained so for several days. Five valleys converged near 
the vital point, and at times the smoke from generators only several 
hundred yards apart drifted in opposite directions. Matters were made 
worse by difficulties in the observation and adjustment of the Arnaville 
screen. Colonel Cottingham decided to experiment with aerial obser- 
vation because the hills which rose beyond the far bank were too 
insecurely held for the establishment of observation posts. Beginning 
on 14 September he made at least three flights daily: one at 0800, 
another at 1300 when convection currents began raising havoc with 
the screen, and the last at 1700 when the air temperature began 
dropping. Aerial observation revealed defects which could not be 
noticed from the ground, enabling the observer to anticipate the 

25 (1) Pritchard, Smoke Generator Opns in MTO and ETO, p. 119; (2) USFET Study 69, Smoke 
Generator Opns and Orgns, pp. 10-ix. 



effects of wind change. He could note smoke drift from fires in 
villages and streamers from artillery smoke shell and thus direct gen- 
erator shifts before the development of any serious gaps. Usually such 
a trip in a liaison plane, borrowed from the artillery, took about fifteen 
minutes, but on one trip conditions were so miserable that the necessary 
adjustments required almost two hours. 

Maintenance proved a problem despite the fact that a continuous 
screen required only a few generators operating simultaneously and 
that the average generator hours of operation in a day was only forty- 
four. Experience indicated that extra generators, strategically placed, 
obviated the need of shifting others when variations and veerings ap- 
peared in the wind or when a generator failed to operate. And as a 
rule three generators a day were replaced because of mechanical failures, 
burned-out coils for the most part. Consequently, before the end of 
the operation all forty-eight generators had to be employed. In 
subsequent operations, assignment to the division of mechanics from 
a chemical maintenance company brought about improvement in 

The experience at Arnaville indicated the need for additional smoke 
generator operators. One man per generator sufficed for rear area 
screening but the conditions encountered in the front lines made two 
operators mandatory. The additional man enabled proper reliefs and 
insured that someone was available for relaying messages to the next 
position along the smoke line. In case of a casualty, one operator could 
administer first aid and keep the generator operating. And two men 
at a position were better for morale. 

Troops coming directly from the communications zone into a sector 
under enemy artillery and small arms fire had to make a rapid mental 
and emotional adjustment. A few men cracked under the strain, but 
the majority held up well. Nonetheless, this initial experience demon- 
strated that a smoke company should have combat training and a 
period of indoctrination before commitment to an assault crossing 
operation. 26 

The 84th Chemical Smoke Generator Company began its Arnaville 
operations under the additional handicap of inefficient direction before 
its attachment to the 5th Division. Both personal and organizational 

J6 The 90th Division chemical officer reached the same conclusion about another smoke generator unit. 
See Ltr, CmlO 90th Div to CCmlO ETO, 20 Jan 47, sub: Opns of Smoke Generator Company in 
Support of River Crossing. CWS 314.7. 



equipment were below standard, with a number of men lacking articles 
of clothing, rifle belts, helmets, and canteens. Some trailers had been 
left at the last bivouac before reaching the division. Training in the 
important areas of communications and map reading was below 
standard. All these factors, combined with the examples of poor lead- 
ership on the part of the company commander once the 84th was 
committed to action, contributed to make more difficult the company's 
introduction to combat. A few shifts in leadership and the example 
set by officers and men who did respond to demands of the situation 
helped mold the unit into an efficient team. That the performance of 
the 84th improved is indicated by the fact that General Walker 
awarded Bronze Star medals to an officer and four enlisted men and 
by the statement of the 5th Division Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, 
after the operation, that "a Smoke Generator Company must be in- 
cluded in making a river crossing. 27 

The Third Army Crossing of the Saar River 

After the successful campaign against Metz, which fell in late 
November 1944, XX Corps was ready to begin its advance into Ger- 
many. 28 By 1 December the corps had reached the west bank of the 
Saar River and was preparing to establish bridgeheads on the east bank, 
in the face of the West Wall defenses of the enemy. Before reaching 
the West Wall, one of the most strongly fortified areas in Europe, 
Third Army would have to cross the open river flats, a tactical situation 
which could well call for a considerable use of smoke. 29 

The XX Corps plan for the Saar operation called for assault cross- 
ings in the Dillingen-Saarlautern sector by the 90th and 95th Divisions 
while the 10th Armored Division feinted a crossing near Hilbringen, 
The 161st Smoke Generator Company, attached to the 10th Armored 
Division, was ordered to screen the vicinity of the partially destroyed 
Merzig bridge, which, for all the enemy could know, might already 
have been repaired for a crossing operation. 30 Beginning on 4 December 
the 84th Smoke Generator Company screened both flanks of the 95th 

27 5 th Inf Div G-3 AAR, Sep 44. Orgn Files, ETO. 

M The Metz campaign involved assault crossings of the Moselle, Seille, and Nied Rivers, all of which 
were effectively supported by the 84th and 161st Smoke Generator Companies. For a discussion of the 
use of smoke in these operations, see Pritchard, Smoke Generator Opns in the MTO and ETO. 

29 Elements of XII Corps crossed the Saar on the right of XX Corps. 

*° (1) TUSA AAR, II, pt. II, 9. (2) 10th Armored Div CWS Sec AAR, 1-3 1 Dec 44- 



Division as it crossed the river in the vicinity of Saarlautern. The 
division also called for generator smoke on the captured bridge at 
Saarlautern and over the construction activities at Lisdorf. 31 

The most extended screening missions of the Saar crossing were 
those in the Dillingen-Pachten area, several miles north of Saarlautern, 
in support of the 90th Division. These operations involved the 84th 
and 161st Smoke Generator Companies, and elements of the 81st 
Chemical Mortar Battalion. The infantry began crossing before dawn 
on 6 December, and smoke operations began at daybreak. Entrenched 
behind the West Wall on the far side of the Saar River, the Germans 
could observe all feasible crossing sites and the road nets leading to 
them. Artillery and mortar fire hit throughout the river area during 
the whole period of the operation, and in the early phase enemy small 
arms fire covered the crossing sites. The smoke troops at the ferry 
site were still within range of small arms fire as late as 10 December. 32 
So heavy was hostile fire that for the sixteen days of the assault, engi- 
neers of the 90th Division were unable to erect a vehicular bridge and 
operated ferry traffic only with great difficulty. The variable winds 
which prevailed for the first six days tore gaps in the screen, so that 
mortar and artillery smoke shells had to be used as supplements. 33 

On 19 December the 90th Division began to withdraw from the 
east bank as part of Third Army regroupment to oppose the German 
breakthrough in the Ardennes. This maneuver involved the movement 
of nine battalions of infantry and more than 100 vehicles through a 
restricted crossing site which was still within range of enemy artillery 
and which was serviced by only a single ferry, one foot-bridge, and a 
few assault boats. The 84th and 161st Smoke Generator Companies 
screened the withdrawal successfully and were among the last troops to 
return to the near bank. 

Screens for the crossing and withdrawal at the Saar resulted in 
expenditures of 151,000 gallons of fog oil and 8,500 HC smoke pots. 
The smoke line near Dillingen had extended for more than 2,000 yards 

81 (1) 84th Cml Smoke Generator Co, Summary of Smoke Opns in the ETO, 12 May 45. (1) For 
an account of the spectacular capture of this bridge by the 1st Battalion, 379th Infantry, see Cole, The 
Lorraine Campaign, pages 517—19. 

85 During these operations seven enlisted men of the 161st and one officer and three men of the 84th 
received a total of two Silver Star and nine Bronze Star medals for valor under fire. 

33 (1) 90th Inf Div, Rpt of Opns, Dec 44, pp. 7-26. Orgn Files, ETO. This report furnishes a 
detailed account of the difficulties of screening and bridging the Saar River at Dillingen during both the 
assault and the withdrawal phases. (2) Ltr, Div CmlO 90th Inf Div to CCmlO ETO, 20 Jan 45. (3) 
Sist Cml Mortar Bn AAR, Dec 44. 



and covered troops and vehicles moving up to, as well as across, the 
Saar River and had effectively concealed traffic along roads to Saar- 
lautern and other points. Enemy sources reported that U.S. "artificial 
fog" along the Saar interfered with German observation and diminished 
the effectiveness of his artillery fire. 34 

Smoke Operations at the Roer 

As early as December 1944 Ninth Army was aware of the desirability 
of smoke support for its contemplated Roer River crossing, and it 
was at this time that it had secured the services of the 74th and 83d 
Smoke Generator Companies. 35 These units, commanded respectively 
by Capt. George B. Warren, Jr. ,and Capt. Augustus H. Shaw, Jr., 
were attached to XIII and XIX Corps. Both companies underwent 
training for front-line operations since preparations in the zone of 
interior had been directed toward the rear area mission. The German 
counteroffensive in the Ardennes delayed the scheduled Roer crossing. 
During this interval Ninth Army held smoke demonstrations in the 
rear area of the 29th Division to acquaint infantry and engineer com- 
manders with the capabilities and limitations of the mechanical 
generator. 36 

With the defeat of the Germans in the Ardennes, the Allies again 
focused their attention on the Rhine. But the immediate objective 
was to cross the Roer, and Ninth Army, flanked on the right by the 
First Army, was to launch an assault crossing of that river and advance 
northeast to join forces with the First Canadian Army, which was to 
drive southward along the Rhine and clear its west bank. The Ninth 
Army sector was a broad, flat region cut by the Roer and other streams 
which flow generally in a northward direction. Entrenched on the far 
bank the enemy had excellent observation of the western approaches 
to the river. He also was able to flood the Ninth Army sector by the 
controlled release of water from the dams up the valley. As a conse- 
quence, the 10 February target date for the crossing was postponed 
until 23 February when Ninth Army assaulted on a 2 -corps front — the 

** Interv, Hist Div ETOUSA with Maj Gen Kurt von Muehlen (former commander of Kampfgritppe 
MuehUn), Apr 46. MS # A-972 in OCMH. 

"These were the first smoke units assigned to the Ninth Army which became operational on 5 
September 1944. 

™ (1) 83d Cml Smoke Generator Co Opns Rpt, 19-30 Dec 44. (2) 29th Div AAR, Dec 44. 



XIII on the left near Linnich and the XIX on the right in the vicinity 
of Jiilich. 

The 74th Smoke Generator Company supported the crossing of the 
84th Division in the XIII Corps sector. On the night of 22-23 Feb- 
ruary the 74th used smoke pots from 2000 to 0315 while engineer and 
infantry troops concentrated on the near bank; the assault began at 
the latter hour under concealment of smoke which drifted toward 
the far side. At first, the smoke company used only pots for fear that 
the noise and placement of the mechanical generators would disclose 
the position and intention of the infantry, separated from the enemy 
only by the Roer River. But after the crossing the 74th used both 
mechanical generators and pots in smoking the bridge sites. Each day 
it stood by prepared to smoke on call. Each night from 1700 to 0700 
hours it screened several bridges in the vicinity of Linnich from enemy 
aircraft. The 74th continued these missions until 3 March, first in 
support of the I02d Division and then while attached to the 19th 
Antiaircraft Artillery Group. The screening at Linnich was generally 
successful despite understandable complaints about the irritating effect 
of HC smoke and some interference with traffic and friendly artillery 
observation. The smoke materially aided bridging operations and, ac- 
cording to infantrymen of the 1st Battalion, 333d Infantry, effectively 
concealed the flash from their 60-mm, mortars. 37 

While the Linnich assault was in progress, XIX Corps crossed the Roer 
upstream on a 2-division front, the 29th Division on the left at Jiilich 
and the 30th Division on the right in the Pier-Schophoven area. Corps 
assigned the 83d Smoke Generator Company (less one section) to the 
29th Division which in turn attached it to the 121st Engineer Combat 
Battalion. The smoke plan for the operation stipulated that Company 
A, 92d Chemical Mortar Battalion, use white phosphorus shells to 
supplement the generator smoke in the event of unfavorable winds. 
Screening began at 0350, twenty minutes after the initial assault, along 
a 2-mile smoke line opposite Jiilich. Under cover of this smoke engi- 
neers worked with little hindrance by the enemy. A request by the divi- 
sion engineer that smoke be continued after daybreak to keep observed 
enemy fire away from the bridge sites was overruled by corps because 

37 (1) 74th Cml Smoke Generator Co Rpt of Smoke Generator Opns (5 Feb-3 Mar 45), 9 Mar 45. 
(z) Ltr, CO 27th Smoke Generator Bn to CmlO Ninth Army, 25 Feb 45, sub: Smoke Opns of the 74th 
Smoke Generator Co. (3) 84th Inf Div AAR, Feb 45, pp. 13-25. Orgn Files, ETO- 



of interference with the observation of corps artillery. 38 Shortly after 
the screen lifted hostile artillery fire destroyed one of the bridges under 
construction. It was the opinion of the division engineer that smoke 
might well have saved the bridge, and the XIX Corps staff was con- 
vinced that better smoke co-ordination was needed in future 

Several miles upstream the 30th Division planned to cross the Roer 
River in the vicinity of Schophoven and Pier and drive north to the 
Cologne-Jiilich highway along which the enemy might launch a coun- 
terattack against the Julich bridgehead of the 29th Division. It ex- 
pected that the crossing would be difficult because of the swollen 
channels, the many pools of water from the recent floods, the spongy 
soil, and the lack of cover. In fact, during November Ninth Army 
had considered a crossing in that vicinity impracticable. 40 

The infantry began the crossing by boat at 0330 23 February after 
a 4 5 -minute artillery preparation reported to have been one of the 
heaviest concentrations of fire experienced in the European theater. 41 
Along the 8,000-yard division front 246 artillery pieces, 35 mortars of 
the 9 2d Chemical Mortar Battalion, and 36 guns of the 823d Tank 
Destroyer Battalion participated in the preparation. The initial assault 
force encountered only light opposition. The 119th Infantry crossed 
at the north site, opposite Schophoven, while one battalion of the 
1 20th Infantry crossed to the south, opposite Pier. A mile of low, 
boggy ground and water separated the two sites. 

The smoke plan called for screens over both these sites, as well as 
over the area between them, during the twelve daylight hours of 23 
February. If conditions should prevent the effective screening of both 
bridge sites, the northern bridge was to have priority. The division 
commander maintained control of the use of smoke, while the division 
chemical officer supervised its operation. The critical observation posts 
of the enemy were in the towns on the far bank and along the low 
ridge of hills to the northeast. At first, only one section (twelve gen- 

M (1) Ltr, Col John B. Cobb to Hist Off, 18 Jan 50. (2) Ltr, Col Charles H. Gerhardt to Hist 
Off, 9 Feb 51. Gerhardt, as a major general in command of the 29th Division during this operation, 
wanted the screen continued during daylight hours but was overruled by corps. 

86 (1) Cobb Ltr, 18 Jan 50. (2) Ltr, CmlO 29th Div to CmlO XIX Corps, 7 Mar 45, sub: Smoke 
Generator Opn in Roer River Crossing. CMLHO. (3) 83d Cm! Smoke Generator Co, Notes on Roer 
River Screening, Koslar, Germany, 23 Feb 45, n.d. 

^Robert L. Hewitt, Work Horse of the Western front: The Story of the }oth Infantry Division 
(Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1946), pp. 212-13. 

11 Ibid., pp. 2 r 5-16. 



era tors and crews) of the 83d Smoke Generator Company was avail- 
able, supplemented by a detachment of seventeen infantrymen, several 
mechanics from the 57th Chemical Maintenance Company, and two 
men from the division chemical section. For several nights preceding 
the jump-off, smoke troops went forward and dug foxholes, established 
supply dumps, and prepared generator emplacements. 42 

The smoke troops moved into position at 024 j on 23 February. The 
din of the heavy artillery preparation drowned the noise of movement 
and darkness hid the exact location of the bridging area. Smoking 
began at 0630. The generators provided good concealment at the 
northern site but unexpected winds at the south site tore gaps in the 
screen. The smoke line was extended to the southeast. In mid-morning 
engineers ceased construction on the south bridge because of accurate 
artillery fire, which was probably adjusted when gaps appeared in the 
screen. After one battalion crossed on boats and Alligators, the 120th 
Infantry transferred its effort to the northern site where the 119th, 
under effective smoke concealment, was crossing without much 

Smoke concealed the northern crossing throughout the day. "While 
engineers worked on a treadway bridge, infantrymen crossed a foot 
bridge and overran enemy positions on the east bank of the river. 
Maj. Gen. Leland S- Hobbs, commanding the 30th Division, ordered 
the screen continued during the coming night and the next day. The 
request for the night screen was prompted by the Luftwaffe which had 
been rather active during the previous two nights and which was using 
a number of jet-propelled planes. Another section of the smoke com- 
pany came from the 29th Division at Julich to help maintain the screen. 

During the night of 23-24 February the 30th Division extended the 
bridgehead to the northeast, capturing the towns of Hambach and 
Niederzier and eliminating enemy observation of bridge sites from the 
east. The northern bridge was opened to passage of armor at midnight. 
By dawn the wind was from the north and smoke troops established 
pot positions on the far bank along the western edge of the 
Krauthausen-Selgersdorf road. Troops and armor advancing over this 
route were exposed to observed fire from the woods beyond Hambach, 
so the smoke line was moved eastward across the road, 100 yards into the 

"CmlO 30th Div Rpt on Roer River Smoke Screen, Schophoven, Germany, 23-24 Feb 45, n.d. This 
report covers in detail the planning and operational phases of screening for the 30th Division at the 
Roer crossing, and is the chief source for the discussion of that crossing. 



fields. For the same reason, other smoke positions were established 
north of the Selgersdorf-Daubenrath road. Chemical troops captured 
four prisoners while setting up these final positions in an area infested 
with enemy mines. 

Division headquarters ordered smoke over both the northern and the 
southern bridges for the night of 24-25 February. But the supply of 
smoke pots was exhausted by about 1530 hours and the M2 generators 
were in need of repair after a long period of continuous operation. 
Moreover, the crews were fatigued from thirty-three hours of con- 
tinuous duty. Consequently, the decision to use smoke that night was 
canceled. By morning the 30th Division had driven the enemy beyond 
range of observation, and smoke was no longer necessary. 

Large area screening activities along the Roer contributed to the 
success of 30th Division operations in several ways. Smoke over the 
northern area enabled the engineers to start construction of a vehicular 
bridge five hours earlier than had been anticipated. The enemy never 
had an opportunity to deliver observed fire, a circumstance that enabled 
the 295 th Engineer Combat Battalion to maintain uninterrupted bridg- 
ing operations. In fact, there was not a single engineer casualty from 
enemy fire at the northern bridge. As a result of this building feat, the 
first armor moved across the Roer River at H plus 21, fifteen hours 
ahead of schedule. 43 Another benefit of the screen was the concealment 
of infantry and armor units moving up to, across, and beyond the 
river, particularly those units in the vicinity of Selgersdorf. In two 
instances the infantry called for extension of the smoke coverage near 
the front line. Captured prisoners stated that, while they believed the 
Roer offensive was imminent, the darkness at the time of the initial 
attack and the subsequent screening confused the Germans as to the 
exact location of the American effort. The plan for the Roer crossing 
had called for only twelve hours of smoke, but during operations 
screening continued without cessation for thirty-three hours. This 
extension was indicative of the effectiveness of the screen and the value 
which General Hobbs placed upon smoke. 44 

First Army crossed the Roer on the right of Ninth Army, The VII 
Corps, on the left, crossed near Duren and advanced northeastward 

"Combat Observer XIX Corps to CG ETOUSA, 28 Feb 4j, Observers Rpt No. ijj (Roer River 
Crossing) . 

^ * ( 1 ) CmlO 30th Div Rpt on Roer River Smoke Screen, Schophoven, Germany, 23— 24 Feb 45-, n.d. 
(2) Hewitt, Work Horse of the Western Front, p. 221. 



to protect the right flank of Ninth Army. The 104th and 8th Divisions 
spearheaded the corps attack. The other two corps of First Army, the 
III in the center and the V on the right, initially remained on the 
defensive but were prepared to advance on or after D plus a. 45 

Forward area screening developed slowly in the First Army. There 
was none during 1944, with the exception of an August operation at 
Mayenne, France, which shielded a bridge against enemy air bombard- 
ment. But the smoke tests that Col. Kenneth A. Cunin, army chemical 
officer, ran at Liege in late 1944 impressed at least one high ranking 
commander, Maj. Gen. J. Lawton Collins, commanding VII Corps. 
Collins and his engineer officer, Col. Mason Young, both saw great 
possibilities in using the mechanical smoke generator in assault river 
crossings and the general attempted to get some to support his corps' 
assault of the Roer. Circumstances prevented the use of smoke gen- 
erators in the Roer crossing. Col. Jack A. Barnes, VII Corps chemical 
officer, had too little time to collect the equipment or to assemble 
suitable trained troops. In fact, the only trained smoke units were the 
79th and 80th Smoke Generator Companies and these, the First Army 
commander decided, could not be released from the secondary duties 
to which they had been assigned. Any screening operation would 
therefore have to depend upon the smoke pot and the white phosphorus 
shells of the chemical mortar. The plan for using smoke in the sector 
of the 104th Division was abandoned when its artillery commander 
objected to possible interference with observation. 46 

The 8 th Division planned to cross south of Diiren with the 28 th 
Infantry on the right at Lendersdorf and the 13th Infantry on the left. 
After the crossing, the 28th Infantry was to protect the corps right 
flank until III Corps entered the fight. The 13 th Infantry did not 
plan to employ smoke at the crossing, but the 28th Infantry made 
provisions for using HC pots to conceal the initial assault and the 
subsequent bridge construction. S/Sgt. Robert J. Cesari of the 80th 
Smoke Generator Company gave training in smoke tactics to the 
infantrymen of the reserve battalion who were to man the pots. On 
the eve of the attack Capt. Kirk J. Ruger, commanding the 80th, was 
attached to the division as smoke observer and adviser. He was espe- 
cially concerned with screens planned for the two bridges which were 

4B FUSA Rpt of Opns, 1 Aug 44-22 Feb 45, p. 160. 

49 Interv, Hist Off with Barnes, 27 Jun yo. Barnes believed that division objection to smoke would 
have been overruled had mechanical generators been available. 



to be built by the 294th Engineer Combat Battalion in the vicinity 
of Lendersdorf. 47 

The 28th Infantry jumped off near Lendersdorf early on 23 Feb- 
ruary. The smoke from HC pots, the haze from shell fire, and the 
morning mist concealed the crossing site until shortly after 1000, 
During this phase the two bridge sites (Nos. 9 and 10) received sporadic 
and unobserved small arms and mortar fire. But at 1000 the west wind 
ceased, the screen lifted, and accurate enemy artillery fire began to 
come in on bridge site 10. Captain Ruger's suggestion to have Company 
D, 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion, fire WP shells against enemy 
positions on the right flank across the river was ruled out for fear that 
friendly troops might be in the impact area. In the absence of wind 
the use of smoke pots would have been ineffective. 

There was also trouble at the bridge site No. 9, visited by Ruger in 
midafternoon. Engineers had suspended all activity on this treadway 
bridge because of the direct fire from an enemy self-propelled gun 
on the opposite bank, accompanied by small arms fire. The division's 
assistant commander, Brig. Gen. Charles D. W. Canham, insisted that 
the bridge be started promptly, regardless of cost, and asked Ruger 
to recommend the use of smoke so as to conceal renewed attempts at 
construction. A light northwesterly wind had set in by this time and 
Ruger suggested a smoke installation through Lendersdorf augmented 
by floating pots which, because of the curve in the stream, would 
establish a semicircular smoke line around the crossing site. But in 
the meantime enemy fire had increased so much that all work was 
postponed at this site and concentrated on bridge No. 10. Company 
D, 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion, was then ordered to establish a 
smoke screen on the far bank where the Roer River intersected the 
III-VII Corps boundary. Sergeant Cesari had already set up a smoke 
line around bridge No. 10 and his smoke detail of ten men from the 
28th Infantry had placed the pots. The heavy fire, however, had 
scattered the detail and Cesari had to light the pots himself. The 
smoke drew additional fire, but the engineers were able to resume work 
on the footbridge. Chemical troops maintained HC and WP screens 

17 (1) 2d Ind, CmlO First Army to CmlO 1 2th Army Group, s Apr 45, on Ltr, CO 80th Smoke 
Generator Co to CO 23d Smoke Generator Bn, 28 Feb 45, sub: Rpt on Smoke Opns 23d, 24th, 25th 
Feb, Roer River Assault and Crossing. CWS Unit Files, 23d SG Bn. CMLHO. (2) 23d Cml Smoke 
Generator Bn Unit Diary, 18-24 Feb 45. (3) 294th Engr Combat Bn AAR, 1-28 Feb. 45. Orgn 
Files, ETO. 



from 1630 until darkness. That night the Luftwaffe bombed and 
strafed the bridge site while enemy artillery continued to fire into the 
area. 48 Next morning the commanding officer, 28th Infantry, on the 
advice of Captain Ruger, ordered Company D, 87th Chemical Mortar 
Battalion, to continue the screen on the high ground to the southeast. 
German artillery fire on the bridge sites lessened but did not cease. 
Obviously the enemy knew the location of the engineers. Later in the 
day jet fighters strafed the bridge sites, by now without smoke prob- 
ably because the pot supply was exhausted. That night enemy planes 
dropped flares and continued to bomb and strafe the area, damaging 
the bridge at site No. 9 and some engineer equipment. The air effort 
which continued until noon of the 25 th had as many as twenty planes 
over the area at one time. 49 

Smoke was not effectively used to support the Roer crossing of the 
28th Infantry. VII Corps correctly estimated during the planning 
stage that the enemy could seriously oppose any crossing in the 28th 
Infantry sector for at least three days. The two bridge sites remained 
within mortar range of an enemy-held area on the right flank which 
was not engaged by American forces until 26 February, or three 
days after the 28th Infantry attack. Projected smoke could have been 
employed here profitably, as Captain Ruger suggested, if suitable co- 
ordination had existed. Under the prevailing northwest wiijd mechan- 
ical generators could have concealed the bridges effectively without 
seriously interfering with infantry or artillery operations. For the 
most part, the smoke would have drifted into enemy-held territory 
opposite III Corps. The area to be covered was too large to be effec- 
tively hidden by smoke pots. The 4. 2 -inch chemical mortars placed 
smoke on observation points to the southeast, but only after the enemy 
had ranged in on the bridges. And none of these screens could conceal 
the bridge sites from an attack. German artillery fire and bombing 
delayed the construction of the two bridges, so that they were not 
finished until more than forty-eight hours after the fighting began, and 
then at a cost of 23 wounded engineers. 50 Smoke, if properly employed, 
undoubtedly would have reduced enemy observation and probably 

"interv, 2d Info and Hist Serv, First Army, with Ruger and Cesari, 1 Mar 45. 

" (1) Ibid. (2) Ltr, CO 80th Cml Smoke Generator Co to CO 23d Cml Smoke Generator Bn, 
1% Feb 45, sub: Rpt on Smoke Opns, 23d, 24th, 25th Feb 45, Roer River Assault and Crossing. 

50 Part of the delay was due to the rapid current and high water. At other crossings of VII Corps, 
however, bridges were completed much sooner. Just a few miles down the Roer the 30th Division 
(Ninth Army) completed a vehicular bridge in twenty-one hours under the cover of smoke. 



would have lessened the time required for construction and the number 
of engineer casualties suffered in the process. 51 

The Use of Smoke at the Rhine River Crossings 

When the Allies terminated the Rhineland Campaign on 21 March 
1945 they found themselves, with one exception, poised along the west 
bank of the Rhine, ready for the final assault. The exception was the 
Remagen bridgehead in the First U.S. Army sector, where a combina- 
tion of fortuitous circumstances and aggressive action by the leaders 
and men of Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division, secured on 
7 March the only Rhine River bridge taken intact by the Allies. During 
the fourth week in March the Ninth, Third, and Seventh U.S. Armies 
successfully assaulted the Rhine. In each case, units of the four armies 
used smoke generator companies to conceal either their actual assault 
crossing or the crossing sites during the period of build-up. 

The unexpected capture of the Ludendorf railroad bridge on 7 
March and the rapid expansion of the bridgehead radically changed 
the First Army plans for the Rhine crossings. Under the new plan 
VII Corps would expand the Remagen bridgehead northward to the 
Sieg River. As army forces cleared the far bank of the Rhine, its 
engineers, under the concealment of smoke, would build bridges first 
at Rolandseck, then Konigswinter, then Bonn. Because of success at 
Remagen, conventional assault crossings in the VII Corps sector were 
unnecessary. Bridge sites might be subject to artillery and mortar 
fire but not to any serious amount of small arms fire. 52 

The day after the capture of the Ludendorf bridge the engineers at 
the bridge site requested a smoke generator unit. When First Army 
replied that none was immediately available the engineers at Remagen 
had to depend upon whatever pots they could hurriedly gather. Finally, 
on 10 March, First Army relieved its smoke units from other duties 
and gave them five days to be ready for screening missions, whereupon 
the 79 th and 80th Smoke Generator Companies retrieved their smoke 

81 (1) Interv, Hist Off with Maj Martin F. Massoglia, formerly ExecO 238th Engr Bn, 2 Dec 49. 

(2) History of VII Corps During Opns in Belgium and Germany, 1-28 Feb 45. Orgn Files, ETO. 

(3) 294th Engr Combat Bn AAR 1-28 Feb 45. Orgn Files, ETO. (4) Ltr, CO 80th Cml Smoke 
Generator Co to CO 23d Cm! Smoke Generator Bn, 28 Feb 47, sub: Rpt on Smoke Opns, 23d, 24th, 
25th Feb 45, Roer River Assault and Crossing. 

53 (1) 3d Ind, Deputy CCmlO ETO, 16 Apr 45 on Ltr, CmlO VII Corps to CmlO FUSA 7 Apr 45, 
sub: VII Corps Smoke Opns for Bridging the Rhine River. CMLHO. (2) History of VII Corps, 
1-3 1 Mar 45. Orgn Files, ETO. 



equipment from its six months' storage. On 15 March the two units 
received march orders and, early next morning, the 79th departed for 
Remagen and the 80th Company headed for VII Corps in the vicinity 
of Rolandseck. 53 

During the early phase of the Remagen operation the Germans held 
the high ground on the east bank with observation over the bridges 
and the approaches thereto. Artillery fire continually impeded, and 
at times halted, the movement of First Army troops through the area. 54 
To provide for the increased traffic, III Corps engineers built two 
bridges which the enemy attempted to destroy by artillery and mortar 
fire, by bombing, and even by demolitions. Mechanical smoke gen- 
erators would have expedited the erection of the bridges, according 
to an engineer officer, but by 16 March, when the 79th Smoke Gen- 
erator Company (Capt. Morris W. Kane) arrived, the urgent need 
for smoke had ended. 55 

The first VII Corps units passed through the Remagen bridgehead 
on 1 j March and within two days they had cleared the area opposite 
Rolandseck. Engineers started bridging the Rhine at Rolandseck on 
the night of 16-17 March and at dawn the 80th Smoke Generator 
Company began concealing the bridge site. The next afternoon most 
of the company departed for another bridge site at Konigswinter 
although several squads remained at Rolandseck until 23 March. 
Meanwhile, the 79th Company had moved from Remagen to Konigs- 
winter and set up generators on the east bank of the Rhine. Smoke 
operations at this site, featured by the use of boat-mounted generators, 
also ended on 23 March. 56 

An extensive First Army screening operation took place along the 
Rhine at the southern outskirts of Bonn. Under technical control of 
the 23d Smoke Generator Battalion, smoke was started at ojoi, 21 
March, and continued without interruption for sixty-one hours. After 

M (1) Armor School Research and Evaluation Div, Study: The Remagen Bridgehead, 7 _ *7 Mar 4$. 
CmlC School. (2) 23d Cml Smoke Generator Bn Unit Diary, 11-24 Mar 45. (3) Ltr, Cunin to 
Hist Off, 1 Feb 50. 

H Capt. John. F. Hyde, CMP, "Armored Bridgehead Operation," Armored Cavalry Journal, LVIII, 
No. 4 (July-August 1949). 37-38- 

155 (1) Massoglia Interv, 2 Dec 49. (2) 23d Cml Smoke Generator Bn Unit Diary, 10-24 Mar 45. 

M (1) Ltr, CmlO VII Corps to CmlO FUSA, 7 Apr 45, sub: VII Corps Smoke Opn for Bridging the 
Rhine River. (2) 79th Cml Smoke Generator Co S-3 Rpt 51, Mehlem, Germany, 18-24 Mar 45, dated 
2 j Mar 4J. (3) 80th Cml Smoke Generator Co S-3 Rpt 30, Bonn, Germany, 18-24 Mar 4J, dated 
25 Mar 4j, 



23 March the smoke troops remained alerted for five days, ready to 
operate against bombers, but the threat never was to materialize. 

By 21 March the Third Army had reduced the Saar-Palatinate tri- 
angle, except for the mopping-up phase, and three of its corps had 
reached the Rhine. General Patton insisted that the enemy be given 
no chance to recover from the defeat in the Palatinate, Third Army 
planned to secure crossings over the Rhine River promptly and then 
advance to the northeast. The VIII Corps, on the left, would attack 
between Koblenz and Bingen and XII Corps was to cross the Rhine 
between Bingen and Worms. XX Corps, on the right flank, would 
continue mopping-up activities and then cross through the bridge- 
head of either VIII or XII Corps. 57 

The XII Corps attached the 84th and 161st Smoke Generator Com- 
panies to the 5 th and 90th Divisions, respectively, for the assault 
crossings. The i62d Smoke Generator Company was to support the 
87th and 89th Divisions of VIII Corps operating north of Bingen. The 
8 1 st Company was trucking for XX Corps but would be available for 
smoke operations on short notice. With four smoke generator units on 
hand, the Third Army could not only use smoke at the crossings but 
could also lay deceptive screens. There was some thought of placing 
a large dummy screen at Mainz because the enemy apparently believed 
that an initial crossing attempt would be made at that point. 58 

Previous Third Army smoke generator operations had emphasized 
concealment from artillery observation, as enemy aircraft had been 
relatively inactive. During February, for example, only thirty-two 
enemy planes were reported over the entire Third Army zone, and 
of these only two made attacks, both of them strafing. 59 But as the 
Army approached the Rhine, enemy air activity increased. On 20 
March large numbers of German aircraft, including the new jet- 
propelled Me262, attempted to bomb bridges and strafe troops. On 
that date the Luftwaffe made a total of 314 sorties in the XII Corps 
zone alone. 60 This increased enemy air activity, even though temporary, 
was a distinct threat to the Rhine bridging operations and suggested 
that the crossing sites be screened against air as well as against artillery 


68 George S. Patton, Jr., War As I Knew It (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin Co, 1947), P- 2 &6- 
"TUSA AAR, I, 279. 
"Ibid., I, 310. 



The 5 th Division made the first crossing of the Rhine for the Third 
Army on the night of 22-23 March in the Oppenheim-Nierstein area. 
Two regiments had already crossed when, at dawn, the 84th Smoke 
Generator Company provided smoke from both sides of the river. 
Each day thereafter the 84th established a heavy screen at dawn and 
dusk, the periods when the engineer bridges were most vulnerable from 
the air. During the night the 84th maintained a haze which could 
be readily thickened in case of attack. In daylight, fighter planes and 
AA guns fought off enemy aircraft. A number of the generator posi- 
tions along the near bank were atop a hill and the smoke, although 
blanketing the bridges from the air, was not dense enough on the 
ground to hinder traffic. 61 Additional generators were mounted on 
Dukws, but were not needed. 

The importance of screening the Oppenheim-Nierstein area can be 
judged by the traffic which crossed the Rhine at that point. Five divi- 
sions, with supplies and supporting troops, passed over its three bridges 
between 23 and 27 March. And between 24 and 31 March, 60,000 
vehicles crossed in support of the XII Corps assault. The smoke screen 
which initially concealed this area was approximately two and a half 
miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide. None of the bridges 
sustained damage during the area's four major air attacks. 52 

For several days after the crossing at Oppenheim-Nierstein the in- 
creased activity of enemy aircraft necessitated the continuance of 
smoke generator operations. On 24 March, 138 enemy planes attacked 
bridges, installations, and troop concentrations in the XII Corps sector. 
During the next day the sorties increased to 231. Heavy enemy aircraft 
losses and the overrunning of many fighter fields by the Third Army's 
advance soon reduced the threat posed by the Luftwaffe, and on 26 
March only three German planes appeared over the XII Corps. 68 As a 
matter of precaution, smoke generator operations continued at Oppen- 
heim-Nierstein until 3 1 March. 

While the jth Division was crossing at Oppenheim, the 90th Division 
was cleaning up Mainz and threatening to cross the Rhine either there 
or to the north. In support of this feint the 161st Smoke Generator 

n 84th Cml Smoke Generator Co, Summary of Smoke Opns in the ETO, 12 May 47. 

a2 Brig Gen P. H. Timothy, The Rhine Crossing — Twelfth Army Group Engineer Operations (Here- 
after cited as The Rhine Crossing), (Ft Belvoir, Va., Jul 46), p. 38. 

W TUSA AAR, I, 315-17- Another factor in the sudden reduction of Luftwaffe activity may have 
been the shifting of enemy planes to the crossing sites of other Allied armies. 



Company, on 23 March, made smoke at several points between Bingen 
and Mainz* On the same day the 90th Division swung south, crossed 
the Rhine at Nierstein, and assumed control of the southern portion of 
the 5th Division bridgehead, an action which obviated the need for 
smoking the Rhine between Mainz and Bingen. Two days later a de- 
tachment of the 1 61 st moved into Nierstein and extended the smoke 
line which the 84th Smoke Generator Company had already established 
there. 64 By 26 March all major units of XII Corps were well beyond 
the Rhine and were attacking points along the Main River in the 
vicinity of Frankfurt. The 161st Smoke Generator Company then 
moved forward and screened the bridges. 

The divisions of VIII Corps crossed the Rhine between Bingen and 
Koblenz. The precise sites were Rhens and Boppard in the 87th 
Division sector, and Oberwesel, St. Goar, and Wellmich in the sector 
of the 89th Division. The 16 2d Smoke Generator Company divided 
its generators and crews between the two divisions. The smoke plan 
at Boppard called for screens for the assault crossing of the 345th 
Infantry and for the ponton bridge building activities of the ii02d 
Engineer Combat Group. The 16 2d made the first smoke at Boppard 
on 2 j March from 0620 to 0635, just before the 345th Infantry attack. 
The generators smoked again at 0650 and remained in operation until 
late that night. With a favorable wind, the cloud traveled across the 
river and filled the valley. That night the wind shifted from south- 
southeast to northeast and the i62d, in order to conceal the bridge oper- 
ations, moved its generators across the river. The smoke crews con- 
tinued the screen throughout the next day, 26 March, under a steady 
rain of enemy artillery, mortar, and machine gun fire. The operation 
ended 26 March. 65 

Meanwhile, on the night of 24 March one section of the i62d set 
up a smoke screen in support of a deceptive move made by the 3 5 3d 
Infantry, 89th Division. The ruse was successful in that the enemy 
directed a large amount of artillery and small arms fire into the 
screened, but unoccupied area. The actual assault came early on 26 
March; smoke operations ceased after half an hour because of inter- 

"TUSA AAR, I, 314-22; II, pt. ii, 15. 

65 (1) 16 2d Cml Smoke Generator Co, Final Opn Rpt, Boppard, 24-27 March 45. (2) Smoke was 
not employed in the crossing of the 347th Infantry, 87th Division, at Rhens. 



ference with forward observation. The crews of the i6id remained 
in position, until 28 March, in case the enemy shelled the bridge site. 66 

The ifod Smoke Generator Company also provided smoke for the 
assault of the 354th Infantry, 89th Division, opposite Wellmich, on 
the morning of 26 March from 0600 to 0630. Enemy artillery and 
small arms fire at the time of the successful crossing was heavy but 
unobserved. 67 At the same time, the company set up five generator 
positions near Oberwesel for the crossing of the 355th Infantry, 89th 
Division, and smoked from 0550 to 1700 hours, 26 March, while two 
battalions crossed the river. The screen not only covered the crossing 
site but also denied observation to enemy forces located at Kaub, up- 
stream on the far side of the Rhine. 68 The Luftwaffe was not as active 
against VIII Corps bridge sites as it was against those of XII Corps 
although artillery and small arms fire were heavier. But despite heavy 
initial resistance the 87th and 89th Divisions advanced rapidly to the 
east, and by 28 March the Rhine mission of 16 2d Smoke Generator 
Company was over. 

The 8 1 st Smoke Generator Company supported XX Corps, which 
did not enter the picture until 27 March, when the 80th Division 
attacked across the Rhine and Main just southeast of Mainz and cleared 
the area around Kastel and at the junction of the two rivers. As soon 
as the infantry cleared the far bank, the smoke company screened the 
bridging operations, with half of the unit on either side of the river. 
Under smoke, the Third Army engineers built a 1,896-foot steel tread- 
way bridge, probably the longest floating tactical bridge of the war. 89 
The 81st continued to operate at Mainz until the evening of 1 April. 70 

Early in March 1945 the 3d and 45th Divisions of Seventh Army 
began preparations for the Rhine crossings. These divisions and various 
supporting organizations converged on Luneville, France, to make use 
of the several lakes in the area for specialized training. Among the 
units supporting the 3d Division was the 540th Engineer Combat 

66 j 626 Cml Smoke Generator Co Final Opn Rpt, St. Goar, 25-28 Mar 45. CMLHO. Col. James V. 
Montgomery, VIII Corps chemical officer, was killed during this operation. 

67 1626. Cml Smoke Generator Co, Final Opn Rpt, Wellmich [Germany], 25-26 Mar 45. CMLHO. 
There were no bridging activities at Wellmich. 

68 (1) i6id Cml Smoke Generator Co, Final Opn Rpt, Oberwesel [Germany], 25-27 Mar 45. 
CMLHO. There were no bridging operations at Oberwesel. {2) Timothy, The Rhine Crossing, p. 42. 

09 Timothy, The Rhine Crossing, p. 40, 
T0 TUSA AAR, I, 322; II, pt. it, 15. 



Group with the 69th Smoke Generator Company attached. Supporting 
troops of the 45 th Division included the 40th Engineer Combat Group 
and the 78th Smoke Generator Company. These attachments were to 
carry through the entire period of the Rhine crossings so that trained 
and co-ordinated teams would be ready to support the assault. 71 

Divisions of XV Corps led the Seventh Army assault across the 
Rhine. The initial crossings were to be made between Gernsheim and 
Ludwigshaven by the 45th Division on the left and the 3d Division 
on the right, the first crossing north, the second south of the city of 
Worms. 72 All five companies of the nd Smoke Generator Battalion 
received screening assignments for the assault crossing, the first time 
all had been committed to the same forward area operation. Battalion 
headquarters was relieved from all other duties on the eve of the 
crossing and placed under direct control of the Seventh Army chemical 
officer. Previously, the battalion commander had occasionally partici- 
pated in the Rhine crossing preparations, but generally his headquarters 
had performed other duties. As it turned out, the most important 
battalion function at the Rhine was logistical, the co-ordination of the 
supply of fog oil to the various smoke companies. 73 

Early on 26 March, for a brief period just before as well as during 
the assault crossings, the 163d and 168th Smoke Generator Com- 
panies drew German attention from the actual sites by maintaining 
feint screens in the sectors of the 71st and 36th Divisions, Meanwhile, 
the 45th and 3d Divisions crossed the river in the Worms areas on 
2-regiment fronts. Enemy opposition to the 45th Division petered out 
quickly and no smoke was needed although the 78th was in position. 
This was not the case with the 3d Division in its Ludwigshaven-Worms 
sector. Here initial resistance to the early morning attack was weak, 
but by 0400, an hour and a half after the assault began, hostile artillery 
pinned down all troops in the area, and engineer operations at the 
upstream crossing site stopped. One engineer company suffered fifty- 
four casualties. Although German artillery fire hit three smoke com- 
pany vehicles, the unit lost no men to enemy action. The intense 

71 (1) The same two smoke generator companies had attended an engineer school at La Valbonne, 
near Lyon, during the previous October, with the mission of screening engineer river operations, (i) 
69th Cml Smoke Generator Co, History (May-Dec 44). (3) 78th Cml Smoke Generator Co, History, 
1 Oct-31 Oct 44, 12 Nov 44, Both in Orgn Files, ETO. (4) Seventh Army Cml Sec History, 
1 Jan-3 1 Oct 44. 

T2 Seventh Army Optts /« ETO, III, 741-45. 

"Seventh Army Cml Sec History, Mar 45. 



artillery fire did prevent a platoon trying to take over smoke pots 
in assault boats from reaching the west bank. Fortunately, the 
southwest winds eliminated the need for pots across the river. At 0700 
the 1 st Platoon, from positions in the near bank generated a fog oil 
screen between the enemy on Friesenheimer Island and the crossing 
site, a maneuver which effectively blocked German observation of 
troop and boat movement. At 1030 the 1st Platoon with six generators 
crossed the river in Dukws only to be pinned down for several hours 
by enemy fire with four generators still on the craft. The two that 
were gotten off maintained a haze between Sandhoffen and the crossing 
site which "greatly reduced the accuracy of enemy fire on the engineer 
operations. 74 

The two assault battalions in the 30th Infantry sector completed 
their crossings by 0305, and the 2d Platoon, 69th Smoke Generator 
Company, set up a smoke pot line on the far bank two and a half 
hours later. Just before daylight smoke began to pour from the pots 
across the river and from mechanical generators on the near shore. 
The variant winds caused smoke to be needed on all sides. The smoke 
haze denied observation to German troops on an island in the river 
which held out until several hours after daylight. Because the infantry- 
men took over the storm boats which had been allotted to the smoke 
troops, their own being destroyed by enemy artillery, the supply of 
smoke pots and the crossing of the generators were both delayed. By 
0930 the smoke troops had four generators in operation across the river 
and half an hour later a wind shift to the southwest minimized the 
problem of smoke supply to the far bank. 75 

During the day the commanding general, 3d Division, ordered that 
smoke be made over both sites on a 24-hour basis. After 27 March the 
Luftwaffe, not hostile artillery, became the greater threat. The 2d 
Platoon, 69th Smoke Generator Company, continued to smoke the 
ponton and treadway bridges, which the engineers built near Worms, 
until 31 March. The 1st Platoon concealed the heavy ferry site with 
smoke until 30 March then moved to Ludwigshaven and screened the 

7 * (1) 2832a Engr Combat Bn Opns Rpt, Mar 45. Ofgn Files, ETO. (2) 69 th Smoke Generator 
Co Opns Rpt No. 3, ^-31 Mar 45. Except for the omission of meteorological information and data on 
expenditures, this is a model report. Ic outlines the general situation, the special training, the special 
organization of the company for the operation, the preliminary moves, the operations of both platoons, 
and includes a discussion, an evaluation, and overlays of the smoke lines. 

78 (1) 69th Smoke Generator Co Opns Rpt No. 3, 5-31 Mar 45. (2) *833d Engr Combat Bn 
Journal, Mar 45. Orgn Files, ETO. 



bridge which connected that city with Mannheim. The 78th Smoke 
Generator Company moved to Mannheim on 1 April and set up a 
smoke line around the bridge which was erected over the Neckar 
River, but smoke was not needed. CWS troops maintained both in- 
stallations until 5 April. 76 

On the eve of the Rhine crossing the Ninth U.S. Army was still 
with the British 21 Army Group, an attachment which had taken 
place at the time of the German counteroffensive. On its left was the 
British Second Army with a boundary near Wesel; on its right, just 
upstream from Dusseldorf, was the First U.S. Army, holding the left 
sector of General Bradley's 12th Army Group. Ninth Army designated 
its XVI Corps to make an assault crossing in the sector between Orsoy 
and Buderich. Initially, XIII and XIX Corps were to hold the west 
bank of the Rhine opposite the Ruhr, later to follow through the 
XVI Corps bridgehead. Chemical units available to XVI Corps for 
screening operations included the 27th Smoke Generator Battalion and 
the 74th and 83d Smoke Generator Companies. The 89th and 93d 
Chemical Mortar Battalions also were to contribute to the smoke 

Ninth Army screening operations along the Rhine River were di- 
vided into two phases, those before the crossing and those in connec- 
tion with the assault. The purpose of smoke in the first phase was 
to conceal movement on the west bank and confuse the enemy as to 
Army intentions and crossing preparations. For eight days before 
the assault, smoke intermittently covered sixty-eight miles of the 
front north of Dusseldorf held jointly by British and American troops. 
The plan provided for "smoking" days and "nonsmoking" days, ac- 
cording to a schedule which was co-ordinated with air reconnaissance 
activities. In the Ninth Army sector the 74th and 83d Smoke Gen- 
erator Companies and provisional personnel performed these prelimi- 
nary missions with smoke pots, the mechanical generators being con- 
served for the main crossing effort. Enemy reaction to the employment 
of smoke during the first phase was varied. Prisoners stated that at 
first the Germans expected the assault after each smoke operation, 
but after continued feints they became confused as to Allied intentions. 
In some localities the Germans were extremely sensitive to smoke and 

76 (1) Ibid, (2) 69th Smoke Generator Co History, Mar 45, (3) XV Corps, AAR, Mar 45, pp- 
7 1 if . Orgn Files, ETO. (4) Memo, CO 22d Smoke Generator Bn to CmlO Seventh Army, 29 Mar 45. 
Orgn Files, ETO. (s) Cml Sec Seventh Army History, Mar 45. 



replied promptly with inconsequential fire. A German radio broadcast 
boasted that an American attempt to cross the Rhine under smoke had 
been repulsed. On the whole, however, the enemy showed little 
reaction, A more important result of the smoke was expediting Allied 
troop and supply movements, particularly in the British and Canadian 
sectors where many dumps were located in exposed areas. 77 

The XVI Corps plans for the Rhine operation called for a 2- 
division crossing in the vicinity of Wallach, Mehrum, and Milchplatz. 
Naval craft were available for the initial assault and the engineers were 
ready to bridge the Rhine, a task which they anticipated would be no 
more difficult than that of bridging the Roer River under flooded 
conditions. After the crossing, the Ninth Army was to drive eastward, 
contain the enemy in the Ruhr pocket to the south, and maintain 
contact with the British Second Army on the left. 

Smoke plans for the crossings provided for concealing the bridge 
sites for forty-eight continuous hours, if necessary. Under no cir- 
cumstances was smoke to interfere with the airdrop of the First 
Allied Airborne Army at Wesel, scheduled to begin at xooo hours on 
the first day. Maj. Robert H. Kennedy, commanding the 27th Smoke 
Generator Battalion, supervised the activities of the two smoke gen- 
erator companies and operated the corps smoke control center. The 
artillery agreed to furnish liaison planes for observation of the screen. 
With the additional assistance from the artillery meteorological sections, 
the smoke control center would be advised of screening conditions any- 
where in the army area at any particular moment. Any complaints 
about the interference of smoke with operations were to be referred 
to the smoke control center, with the matter reconciled by the G-3. 
Elements of the 89th Chemical Mortar Battalion would screen the 
right flank of the corps sector, opposite Orsoy, along the Rhein-Herne 
Canal. 78 The 83d Smoke Generator Company and two sections of the 

"This account is based upon: (i) Lt Col W. R. Sawyer, GSO i Rpt on Smoke Screens Carried 
Out by First Canadian Army (R) (printed in the field by i Canadian Mobile Printing Sec RCASC, 
15 Jul 45), pp. 33-34; (2) 21 Army Group, Cml Warfare Liaison Ltrs, No. 8, 25 Mar 45, No. 9, 
24 Jul 4s, CmlC School 461/2514; (3) Interv, Hist Off with Col Harold Walmsley (formerly 
CmlO Ninth Army) and Capt Joel B. Marangella (formerly IntellO Cml Sec Ninth Army), 14 Feb 47; 

(4) Ltr, CO 74th Cml Smoke Generator Co to CG Ninth Army, 23 Mar 45, sub: Rpt of Smoke Opns; 

(5) Ltr, CG 84th Div to CG XIII Corps, 7 Apr 45, sub: Smoke Opns; (6) Ltr, ACmlO toad Div to 
CmlO XIII Corps, 7 Apr 45, sub: AAR on Smoke Used on Rhine River, all in CMLHO; (7) Hewitt, 
Work Horse of the Western Front, pp. 234-38, 

™ (1) Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col Andrew M. Bishop, Lt Col Joseph C. Prentice, Capt Clyde H. 
Westbrook, Capt Ralph R. Wance, and Mr Charles E. Miller, 1 Mar 50. (2) For more information on 
chemical mortar smoke operations, see below, |Ch. XII.~| 



74th would conceal the crossing sites of the 30th Division near Wallach 
and Mehrum, while the other two sections of the 74th Smoke Generator 
Company were to smoke at Milchplatz for the 79th Division crossing. 
Generator positions, as far as practicable, were to take advantage of 
the protection afforded by the dike on the west bank. Where necessary, 
the smoke troops were to use pots over the low land between the dike 
and the river. The first smoke was to appear at dawn on 24 March. 79 

The Ninth Army assault crossing of the Rhine River began on the 
night of 23-24 March. After heavy preparatory fire the initial waves 
of the 30th and 79th Divisions jumped off at 0200 and 0300 hours, 
respectively. Resistance was not serious and by daybreak thirteen bat- 
talions of infantry had crossed and secured four bridgeheads, several 
thousand yards deep. Within twenty-four hours the front lines had 
advanced approximately six miles beyond the Rhine. 80 

At dawn, smoke from the generators along the dike line concealed 
the ferrying operations of the assault boats from enemy ground and 
air observation. Fear that the haze might drift over the Wesel airdrop 
area and impede paratroop operation proved groundless. In midmorn- 
ing the wind shifted from west to east, through south, and the smoke 
troops moved pots and generators across the river and screened from 
the far bank. Smoke continued on the first day until after dark. On 
25 and 26 March smoke covered the bridges in the 30th Division sector 
during the daylight hours. But at Milchplatz, in the sector of the 79th 
Division, the generators remained idle until enemy guns had ranged in 
on the bridge site. 81 From 27 to 3 1 March the smoke troops operated 
only during the periods from 0500 to 0800 and from 1700 to 2000 
hours, when the bridges were most vulnerable to air attack. Enemy 
aircraft strafed the generator lines during the nights of 24, 25, and 26 
March, and artillery fire lasted through 24 and 25 March, but the 
smoke troops suffered only two casualties. The only damage to smoke 
equipment occurred during the movement of Alligators and tank 
destroyers during the hours of darkness of the initial assault. Smoke 
was not required after 31 March. 82 

re (1) Ltr, CmlO XVI Corps to CmlO Ninth Army, i Apr 45, sub: Smoke Opns— Flashpoint. 
Reproduced in Pritchard, Smoke Generator Opns in MTO and ETO, pp. 3i3~M- ( 2 ) Walmsley- 
Marangella Interv, 14 Feb 47. 

m (1) Hewitt, Work Horse of the Western Front, pp. 238-42. (2) 30th Inf Div G-3 After Battle 
Report, Mar 4J, pp. 4-5. Orgn Files, ETO. 

81 Interv, Hist Off with Capt Warren (formerly CO, 74th Smoke Generator Co), 27 Jun 50. 

SJ Ltr, CmlO XVI Corps to CmlO Ninth Army, 1 Apr 47, sub: Smoke Opns — Flashpoint. 



Planned as a 48 -hour operation, smoke actually was used at the 
Rhine crossings for a period of eight days. During the first two days of 
the crossing the frequent shifts of wind direction made screening 
difficult, especially at Milchplatz, although the concealment of crossing 
activities was generally effective. 83 


The outstanding mission of the chemical smoke generator company 
for all armies in the European theater was the concealment of bridge 
and river crossing sites. Next in importance was the screening of 
main supply routes. Only as the Allies approached the Rhine did the 
Luftwaffe become a threat to operations. There were no calls for 
smoke to hide the flash of friendly artillery, as had been the case in 
Italy. Occasionally, an area screen concealed a flank of an armored 
or infantry advance or withdrawal. 

Smoke generator companies generally operated as a unit, under the 
control of either the division or of the engineer unit charged with the 
bridging activities. When the need for area screening was anticipated, 
the division commander secured one or more smoke units from either 
corps or Army. Only in rare instances was the smoke generator kept 
available at regimental level, or lower, to be used as an instrument of 

European experience in large area screening revealed several prin- 
ciples which govern successful smoke operations. First, adequate time 
should be allowed during the planning of any operation to insure thor- 
ough reconnaissance and supply. Second, the control of a screen should 
be in the hands of the commander of the highest echelon concerned. 
Smoke can be a two-edged sword, simultaneously harmful and bene- 
ficial. A high level arbiter is necessary to balance its benefits against 
its disadvantages and come up with a decision most likely to insure 
ultimate success. Third, a smoke plan should provide for a smoke 
installation which completely surrounds the vital area, a factor which 
requires the planned transfer of men and equipment to the far bank 

** (1) Hewitt, Work Horse of the Western front, pp. 238-42. (2) 30th Inf Div G-3 After Battle 
Report, Mar 4^ pp. 13. (3) Lt, Col. John C. Dairy mple, "Engineer Combat Group in the Rhine River 
Crossing," Military Review, XXVIII (August 1949), $■ (4) Ltr, CO 57th Cml Maintenance Co to 
CmlO Ninth Army, 29 Mar 45, sub: Maintenance of M2 Smoke Generators During Opns (Rhine 
River), CWS 314.7 Unit Files, j7th Cml Maim Co. 



during the initial plan of a river crossing operation. And, finally, 
screening operations should begin before the enemy observes activity 
in the vital area and should cover considerably more territory than that 

American armies gradually applied these principles to their European 
smoke operations. At first, the divisions of Seventh Army were more 
adept in the technique because of their experience in Italy. But before 
long the Third Army units resorted to corps area screens even more 
often than those of Seventh Army. Of the four armies in the European 
theater only the First failed to employ area screening when the occasion 
seemed to demand it, due in large part to a policy which kept smoke 
units at other tasks from which they could not be quickly relieved. 
On the whole, American forces in Europe learned the technique and 
principles of forward area screening rather quickly, especially con- 
sidering the late development of the M2 generator which enhanced the 
possibilities of such employment. 


Large Area Smoke Screens 
in the Pacific 

Large area smoke operations in the Pacific contrasted sharply with 
those in Italy, France, and Germany. By concealing rear area installa- 
tions and forward area operations, CWS smoke generators in Europe 
had performed a vital service. The few smoke units in the Pacific, on 
the other hand, were inactivated while still in the training stage. The 
role of smoke in the Pacific was restricted mainly by geography and 
by the decision which gave the war against Germany priority over 
the Japanese conflict. Geography was an especially limiting factor. 
It dictated that a good deal of the fighting in the Pacific would be 
done by the naval arm. The most effective use of smoke in the Pacific 
was in the form of anchorage screens maintained by the Navy to 
conceal the vulnerable vessels involved in the numerous island hopping 
campaigns so typical of the war against Japan. 

Early Attempts To Introduce Area Screening in SWPA 

In the early phases of the war in the Southwest Pacific Area com- 
manders who considered area screening as a means of concealing air- 
fields from enemy air attack ran up against several serious problems. 1 
These included not only a lack of a suitable means for static screening 
and a shortage of smoke materials but also a scarcity in shipping, 
both within the immediate area and from the United States to SWPA. 
If smoke was to be used the means and material would have to be 
devised locally. 

When an industrial survey disclosed that large quantities of the FS 
smoke material could be produced in Australia, Colonel Copthorne, 
Chief Chemical Officer, USASOS SWPA, assigned the 4id Chemical 

'Ltr, CCmlO USASOS to CCWS, 16 Nov 42, sub: Tech and Intell Work. AGO CWS Ret 319.1/ 
3006. This letter reviews the background of the early requests for screening. 



Laboratory, then in Brisbane, the mission of developing both a large 
and a small smoke generator which could employ this chemical smoke. 
Tests in the summer of 1942 revealed deficiencies in the large model 
which was dropped entirely later in the year after word came that the 
newly developed mechanical smoke generator would soon be made 
available to the theater. The 4zd Laboratory Company went on to 
develop a small smoke generator which was to see limited use in the 

In January 1943 the Commanding General, USASOS SWPA, ap- 
proved a project for concealing an advanced base or port with smoke 
and requisitioned two smoke generator companies from the United 
States to carry out the project. The harbor at Port Moresby, New 
Guinea, was chosen as the site for the first smoke installation, although 
military authorities realized that another port might be more critical 
by the time the smoke units arrived. After an on-the-spot survey of 
Port Moresby, Colonel Copthorne recommended that some generators 
be mounted on barges or power boats to insure adequate smoke 
coverage. 2 

In May 1943 the theater asked the Chief, CWS, to comment on its 
tentative plans for a smoke installation at Milne Bay, which, as had 
been foreseen, was now a more exposed harbor than Port Moresby. 
These plans, which included the employment of generators both on 
land and on water to conceal shipping activity in the harbor, suffered 
from a lack of power boats on which to mount the generators which 
were to be waterborne. The theater requested the War Department 
to send several craft suitable for this purpose along with the two smoke 
companies requisitioned earlier in the year. 3 

In July SWPA pressed the War Department for the immediate ship- 
ment of the two smoke companies and speculated on the reduced re- 
quirement for smoke pots if three smoke generator battalions were 
assigned. 4 People in the Southwest Pacific Area were also concerned 
with the possibility that the two companies, which by September had 
not yet arrived, would be equipped with the 3,000-pound Mi generator, 
instead of the new lightweight M2. 5 Meanwhile, in response to the 

s Ur, CCmlO USASOS to CCWS^o Jan 43, sub: Rear Area Smoke Screens. CWS 314.7. 
3 Ltr, CCmlO USAFFE to CCWS, 21 Jul 43, sub: Smoke Generator Cos. AGO CWS Ret 320.2- 
USAF in the Far East. 

* (1) CM-TN 257, Brisbane to WAR, 1 Jul 43- (*) CM-IN 7666, Brisbane to WAR, 11 Jul 43. 
5 CM-IN 1601, Brisbane to WAR, 3 Sep 43. 



Smoke Generator in a Dukw on Milne Bay 

theater's interest in large area screening, General Porter in August 
1943, sent Maj. Roy E. Halverson, a trained smoke officer, to the 
Southwest Pacific Area. 6 Major Halverson made surveys at Milne Bay, 
Oro Bay, and Goodenough Island, concluding that the establishment 
of smoke installations at any of these locations would be a difficult 
proposition. He confirmed Colonel Copthorne's view that the lack 
of road nets at advanced ports would entail heavy dependence upon 
water transportation. Not only were appropriate craft in short supply 
but the Mr smoke generator was rather bulky for this type of employ- 
ment. In fact, the successful screening of port facilities in the South- 
west Pacific seemed to require an amphibious smoke unit, a type that 
so far had not been foreseen by planners in Washington. 7 

By mid- 1943 the Japanese were raiding Goodenough Island regularly 
and Milne Bay, New Guinea, occasionally. The theater proceeded with 
its plans to station the two smoke generator units temporarily at 
Milne Bay where they could be adapted to island employment and 

*CWS USAFFE, Info Bull, No. if, 14 Aug 43. 

7 (1) Interv, Hist Off with Morgan, former theater CWS liaison officer with the Australian Army, 
30 Jan 46. (2) Incerv, Burke, former CmlO Base A, Milne Bay, New Guinea, 30 Jan 46. 



trained for more difficult operations at a more advanced port. 8 But 
the 70th and 170th Smoke Generator Companies landed at Sydney, 
instead of Milne Bay. Shortage of shipping and the higher priority 
of other units precluded the immediate transshipment of these units to 
Milne Bay, and the two companies remained in Australia for almost 
two full months after their arrival in October 1943. As a result, smoke 
company training at Milne Bay did not begin until January 1944 and 
then only under the greatest difficulties. The base commander could 
not permit a considerable amount of smoke over the area because his 
installation was operating under pressure, day and night. Of even 
greater importance was the lack of craft on which to mount the smoke 
generators. Boats could be borrowed for short periods, but none could 
be assigned to the smoke troops. General Porter, Chief, CWS, arranged 
to ship four J boats which, shortly after arrival, were severely damaged 
by a storm. 

By April 1944 it was evident that smoke training operations would 
have to be shifted to a less active port. Chosen was Base E at Lae, on 
the northeastern coast of New Guinea, where ships anchored while 
awaiting a call to a more exposed port 9 and, consequently, where 
practice screens would not interfere with normal port operations. 
Another advantage was the short distance to the air base at Nadzab, up 
the Markham River from Lae. The air base was an ideal place to test 
screening of air installations and a source of aircraft from which to 
observe the practice screens. The companies moved to their new loca- 
tion in mid-July and immediately experienced greater success with their 
training program. The road net facilitated land training, and boats 
were available for working out problems in the bay. In mid-August 
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 26th Smoke Generator 
Battalion, under the command of Maj. Allen H. Williams, arrived 
from the United States and took charge of the two smoke companies. 10 

A Question of Mission 

In June 1944 the commanding general, USASOS, recommended to 
General MacArthur the employment of smoke generator units during 
the early stages of an amphibious operation for screening supply dumps 

s Burke Interv, 30 Jan 46. 

8 Interv, Hist Off with Lt Col Joseph S. Terrell, Jan 46. 
10 (1) Ibid. (2) Burke Interv, 30 Jan 46. 



as well as for concealing ships engaged in unloading. 11 He proposed that 
the 70th and 170th Smoke Generator Companies be equipped with 
suitable craft and trained to use the new lightweight M2 generators, 
then en route to the theater. General MacArthur agreed that the 
smoke troops could be profitably employed in future operations and 
suggested the transfer of the two companies to the Sixth Army for 
amphibious training under an engineer special brigade. 12 

Col. Carl L. Marriott, Sixth Army chemical officer, opposed this 
suggestion, indicating that the USASOS recommendation was merely 
an admission that it had been unable to interest the 14th Antiaircraft 
Command in the value of the smoke units. Reasons given by Colonel 
Marriott for this lack of interest included inappropriate equipment, 
the fact that the Esso generators were too unwieldy, and the reputation 
of the two smoke companies at Milne Bay for "smashing up" their 
equipment. 13 CWS officers at Milne Bay refuted this last argument, 
attributing damaged equipment to the work of the elements, not to 
careless maintenance. 14 In arguing against the assignment of the two 
smoke companies to Sixth Army, Marriott also brought up the matter 
of control. In an assault landing these units initially would be con- 
trolled by the naval task force commander. On the other hand, 
smoke operations to conceal ships just off the beaches would have to 
be co-ordinated by a second agency, the one charged with the control 
of antiaircraft artillery and fighter aircraft. Marriott recommended 
that USAFFE should clarify the question of control and assign the 
smoke units to the 14th Antiaircraft Command, a troop unit not 
under Sixth Army. 15 

Early in September 1944, and before any decision was reached on 
the control of the smoke units, a group of Sixth Army officers wit- 
nessed a smoke demonstration at Lae which featured the recently 
arrived M2 mechanical generator, smaller and more economical and 
efficient than its predecessor. Without exception, the officers were 
most enthusiastic about the capabilities of the new mechanical gen- 

n Ltr, CG USASOS to CG USAFFE, 4 Jun 44, sub: Assignment of Craft to Provisional Smoke Gen- 
erator Bn. Sixth Army, 470.7 i-SG. 

12 1st Ind, CG USAFFE to CG Sixth Army, 1 1 Jul 44. 

13 Memo, CmlO Sixth Army for G-3 Sixth Army, 16 Jul 44, Sixth Army 470.71-SG. 
u Ltr, Lt Col Joseph S. Terrell to Hist Off, 19 May 1950. 

15 Memo, CmlO Sixth Army for G-3 Sixth Army, 16 Jul 44. Sixth Army 470.71-SG. 



erator and requested that every effort be made to obtain smoke com- 
panies for Sixth Army to be used on beachheads and airstrips. 18 

It seems that the final decision regarding the assignment of the CWS 
smoke companies pleased no one. The two companies were not assigned 
to the Sixth Army, nor to an antiaircraft artillery command, as recom- 
mended by Colonel Marriott. In October the commander of the USA 
Services of Supply, Southwest Pacific Area, unaccountably ordered 
that the 70th and 170th Chemical Smoke Generator Companies be 
inactivated and that the personnel so released be used to activate two 
quartermaster truck companies. 17 This decision marked the end of 
efforts to prepare the two units for combat and prompted Navy officers 
to question the wisdom of eliminating the smoke units in face of the 
increasing need for smoke in beach operations. 18 

The officers and men of the headquarters of the recently arrived 
smoke generator battalion received assignments with the chemical 
warfare school at Oro Bay. There they taught and prepared studies 
for the employment of smoke in future operations. The new light- 
weight M2 generators, which arrived in the theater in August, were 
turned over to the Navy along with the supply of fog oil and most 
of the floating smoke pots. 19 

Renewed Interest in Smoke 

The smoke companies had hardly been inactivated before ground 
commanders in the area began inquiring about their availability. The 
XI Corps, for example, became interested in smoke after learning of 
the successful employment of the mechanical generator at Anzio. 20 
Chemical officers at the CWS conference at Oro Bay wanted to know 
how long it would take to train combat troops in the use of the light- 
weight M2 generator for forward area operations. At this time, Oc- 
tober 1944, about 100 of these generators were in or en route to the 
theater. 21 A month later Lt. Col. David D. Hulsey, Chemical Officer, 

lfl Interv, Hisc Off with Lt Col Allen H. Williams, formerly CO 26th Smoke Generator Bn, j Jun 50. 

17 (1) Ltr, Secy War to CINCSWPA, 16 Oct 44, sub: Disbandment, Constitution and Activation of 
Certain Units. AG 322 (12 Oct 44). (2) CM-IN 12423 (13 Nov 44) CG USAFFE, 12 Nov 44. 

18 Williams Interv, j Jun jo. 

19 Burke Interv, 30 Jan 46. 

M Ltr, CmlO XI Corps to CmlO Sixth Army, 22 Aug 44, sub; Smoke Generators, and 1st Ind 
thereto, CG Sixth Army to CG XI Corps, 30 Aug 44. ORB Sixth Army 470.71-SG. 
Lrl CCmlO USASOS, Rpt of CWS Conf, 10-13 Oct 44, p. 30. 



6th Infantry Division, asked Col. Harold Riegelman, Chemical Officer, 
I Corps, whether any smoke troops were available to screen river cross- 
ings. The answer was: in the absence of smoke units ground troops 
would continue to rely on mortar smoke shell and smoke pots for that 
type of mission. 22 

Meanwhile, various units of the Sixth Army resorted to limited area 
screening with whatever smoke weapons or equipment was available. 
The 2d Engineer Special Brigade used the small FS generator developed 
by the 426. Chemical Laboratory Company to conceal LCM's unloading 
at Colasion Point from rifle and machine gun fire. 23 But the Mi and 
M4 smoke pots proved to be the mainstays for area screening. Smoke 
from these munitions successfully concealed the Tacloban airstrip on 
Leyte from Japanese bombers during the full moon period of November 
1944. 24 ^ n t he Zamboanga operation in western Mindanao Colonel 
Arthur, chemical officer of the 41st Infantry Division, organized a 
smoke pot line along one side of an airstrip then under construction 
after Japanese artillery had damaged heavy engineer equipment. 26 
During the Luzon Campaign, the Sixth Army used smoke pots far 
more extensively than previously to conceal road and bridge con- 
struction from enemy observers. 26 The increased use of smoke in the 
Sixth Army resulted from the stepped-up activity of the Japanese 
air force; the shift to larger land masses for maneuvering, along with 
a decrease in the amount of jungle fighting; the availability of smoke 
weapons and munitions; recent emphasis by commanders and chemical 
officers on the importance of smoke in combat; and the fact that the 
use of smoke had proved beneficial in saving lives and equipment. 

Another possible mission for large area screening, the concealment 
of airfields, was beginning to take shape in the Pacific Ocean Areas. 

33 Ltr, CmlO I Corps to CmlO 6th Inf Div, 8 Dec 44. In Riegelman's private files. 

38 (1) Memo, Actg CmlO for ACofS Sixth Army, 23 Nov 44. Sixth Army 470.6-Smoke. (2) 
In the Biak operation, I Corps had used this same item for harassing effect; when the generators were 
placed in the windward openings of caves, the smoke not only drove out the Japanese but disclosed 
other entrances to the cave. CG I Corps, History of Biak Opn if— 27 Jun 44, G-3 Rpt, an. 2, Cml, 
p. 47. AGO HRS 201-11.4 ( i ?4f 9) . General Krueger cites the testimony of Japanese generals 
after the Philippines campaign attesting to the usefulness of smoke and white phosphorus in driving 
Japanese soldiers out of their caves. From Down Under to Nippon, p. 327. 

24 Comdr Amphib Group 8 Seventh Fleet Action Rpt, Leyte Opn, pt. V (D), Special Comments, 

25 Inter v, Hist Off with Col Frank M. Arthur, former chemical officer of the 41st Division and I 
Corps, 1 Jul 46. 

"Sixth U.S. Army, Rpt of the Luzon Campaign, 9 Jan 45-30 Jun 45, III, Rpts of the General 
and Special Staff Sees, Rpt of the Cml Warfare Officer, 90. 



In the summer of 1944 United States forces captured Guam, Tinian, 
and Saipan in the Marianas group and immediately began constructing 
airfields from which to stage bombing attacks against Japan. These 
bases became operational in the fall and early winter of 1944, and 
B-29's of the XXI Bomber Command began their assault on the Japan- 
ese homeland. 27 In turn, these airfields in the Marianas were subjected 
to enemy air raids, infrequent and largely ineffective, but nonetheless 
"an expensive nuisance, which, if unchecked, could have become more 
costly." 28 

Even as the Advanced Echelon, XXI Bomber Command, was staging 
at Hickam Field, Oahu, its chemical officer, Maj. John Barrows sug- 
gested the use of smoke generators to conceal the B-29's when they 
reached the Marianas. The Commander in Chief, POA, turned down 
this request on the ground that the available shipping space was needed 
for more vital supplies. 29 General Waitt, Assistant Chief CWS for 
Field Operations, brought the subject up again during his November 
1944 visit to Saipan. Noting the vulnerability of the B-29's to Japanese 
attack — several of the planes had already been destroyed by enemy air 
action — Waitt insisted that the use of smoke could conceal the expen- 
sive aircraft without interfering with the antiaircraft screen. Later 
on in Hawaii, he urged Admiral Nimitz and General Richardson to 
adopt this plan. 30 Despite the merits of the case, and the fact that 
eleven B-29's had been destroyed and forty-three others damaged, the 
plan for screening the Marianas airfields against enemy attack never got 
off the ground. The interests of the strong antiaircraft artillery de- 
fenses were considered paramount. 31 In any event, enemy air attacks 
ceased early in 1945 when Iwo Jima with its air bases fell to U.S. 
Marine forces, thus eliminating the trouble at its source. 

The question of employing smoke troops at airfields arose again in 

57 The XXI Bomber Command was an element of the Twentieth Air Force, which, under Joint Chiefs 
of Staff control, had as its mission the strategic bombing of Japan. For the complete picture of these 
operations, see Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, eds., THE ARMY FORCES IN WORLD 
WAR II, vol. V, The Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki, June 1944 to August 1945 (Chicago: Univer- 
sity of Chicago Press, 1973)- 

2g Craven and Cate, eds., Matterhorn to Nagasaki, p. $82. 

^Interv, Hist Off with Grothaus, former CmlO, Seventh Air Force, 27 Apr 50. 

^Rpt on Trip of Waitt and Javits to POA and SWPA, 24 Sep-21 Nov 44, dated iy Dec 44. CWS 
314.7 Observer Rpts. 

31 (1) CM-IN 930, CG AAFPOA to WD, 1 Dec 44. (2) Grothaus Interv, 27 Apr yo. Colonel 
Grothaus felt that the shortage of available shipping remained a factor in the decision not to employ 



connection with Operation Iceberg, the campaign against the Ryukyus 
chain. Because of the proximity of the islands to the Japanese home- 
land, American planners correctly anticipated that their assault would 
provoke a great amount of enemy air action.